The Basics of Copper Pipe Repair

Copper piping is a common material for the installation of water lines within a house. It is a great material since it is a relatively inexpensive and flexible material. However, copper is not a perfect material, it can fail and allow a leak to develop. There are a number of methods of copper pipe repair and many of these are safe for those with basic do it yourself skills to use.

Push Fittings:

This is one of the best innovations for novices to copper pipe repair. This type of fitting fits any size of copper pipe tubing. It is also flexible to use with copper piping or piping of materials such as poly, CPVC or PEX. There are a number of different configurations and forms of push fittings from lots of different manufacturers. Common brands tend to be relatively inexpensive and can provide a quick solution.

Identifying the Leak:

The first step to copper pipe repair is to identify the potential source of the water leak. This can take the form of a slow leak which is dripping off the pipe or a fast flowing leak. Slow leaks tend to be more difficult to identify. You cannot assume that the drip represents the actual location of the leak. If the leak is a fine spray, it can also be difficult to find the leak source. The best way to identify the source of the leak is to use a piece of cardboard or paper. This can be held up to show how and where the water is being released from the leak.

Cutting the Pipe:

This is the part of the copper pipe repair which usually causes the most problems. Cutting the pipe without squashing or crushing it can be challenging. A leaking section of copper tubing often has very little structural integrity remaining. However, if you use a sharp cutter, you can often cut through the tubing without causing further damage. Tubing cutters need a little patience to use as you will need to use a gentle touch to crank it closed gradually to avoid crushing the pipe as it is being cut. Usually a quarter turn of the cutter is sufficient to cut through without causing more damage.

Finishing the Repair:

Once you have made a clean cut at both ends of the damaged section of piping, you should be able to carefully slide on the repair coupling at each end of the pipe. Push each coupling together until they are seated together. This will usually be far quicker and easier than finding and purchasing the appropriate fitting at a home improvement store. Push fittings can be kept in your tool box just in case they are needed. They are relatively inexpensive but fantastic to have on hand.

When attempting copper pipe repair, it is important to work within your skill and confidence level. You should always ensure that the main water supply has been turned off and that you have all the tools needed before you begin. If you are in any doubt about the repair, you should consult a professional plumbing technician for further assistance. It is far better to seek help before you begin than risk a larger repair bill should you attempt something beyond your skill and expertise.

If you do need assistance with a copper pipe repair within your home, contact Scott English Plumbing. We are experienced in all aspects of plumbing including copper pipe repair and would be delighted to help. Our plumbing technicians are available 24/7, for emergency or routine repairs, large or small throughout the home.