The use of PVC pipes and joints has become commonplace around the home. As with all types of pipes, there will be opportunities arise when there will be a need to repair PVC pipes. Here are some tips on how to handle PVC repair.
One of the most common types of repairs you may have to make will be repairing cracks in PVC pipes around the house. Depending on the severity of the crack, you may be able to repair PVC pipe by applying a sealant to the cracked area. However, it is important to remember that the sealant will have to be allowed to set, which may or may not be practical. In addition, silicone solvents used on PVC pipes and joints is not meant to be used for anything other than hairline cracks, and even then not in main lines in your home, only lateral ones. Fine quality silicone sealant compounds can be purchased at home repair and hardware stores.
If the crack is on a main line in the home, or is longer than an inch, then the prudent thing to do would be to not attempt to repair PVC pipe that is cracked. Remove the cracked section and replace it with a new segment of PVC pipe. You can do this by draining the section of pipe and then cutting at least six inches on either side of the crack, using a hacksaw. The idea is to make sure you are far away enough from the visible crack to not miss any hairline cracks that could cause a problem later.
Prepare a replacement section by obtaining a length of PVC pipe the same thickness as your original pipe. Apply sealant around each end of the pipe and then add a coupling to both ends. Slide the pipe into place, taking care to apply sealant to the ends of your original piping and sliding the couplings over both the new segment and the original line, creating a sealed portion. Depending on the location, you may want to apply channel locks to each of the coupling until the sealant has cured and set in place.
To repair PVC joints, follow the same guidelines. Use the sealant for smaller cracks that are not located on main lines. But in the event that the crack is too big to be handled by sealant alone, or is found on a main line, then you will need to replace the joint altogether. Be sure to add a little sealant around the threads of the new joint as you put it in place, or you may find yourself with another repair job to handle.