PVC pipe leaks are among the most annoying plumbing problems. As long as you can see the leaks, there is nothing to worry about since you can fix them yourself. There’ll be indicators to watch out for hidden leakages like a PVC pipe leak ( water stains in your ceiling and walls, water pooling, rumbling sound, rotten smell, etc.) For instance, check out these signs of a hidden leaking pipe in your bathroom.
But have you ever wondered why these leaks occur in PVC pipes? In our experience, most leaks occur due to common mistakes by homeowners and plumbers.
For instance, if you don’t install the PVC pipes properly, it can cause leakage problems and may even develop into a more significant plumbing issue like burst pipes. This usually happens when the PVC pipe joints have a loose fitting; water seeps through the gap and causes leakage.
Besides this, using the wrong adhesive can cause PVC pipes to leak since the adhesive will deteriorate over time. Intense weather conditions can also cause the PVC pipes to crack and become brittle due to expansion and contraction. Keeping this in mind, we have listed five effective methods of repairing PVC leaks while being affordable.
How To Repair PVC Pipe Leaks?
You can use different techniques and methods when repairing a damaged pipe, particularly a busted PVC pipe. For example, you can use pipe burst tape, fibreglass resin tape, epoxy, and rubber tape to fix the pipes. Or, If you’re in a bind, the leak can, at the very least, be slowed with a piece of rubber and hose clamps. Here’s a list of some of the most effective ways to repair a leaky PVC pipe.
1. Cloth Or Fibreglass Resin Tape
If you are looking for a temporary fix for your leaking PVC pipe, fibreglass resin tape would be the best option to slow down the damage. The fibreglass resin tape has a unique design that allows it to adhere to the surface as soon as the resin is activated by water.
While applying the fibreglass (using a water-activated resin that hardens around the pipe to slow the leak) or silicone repair tape rubber to the PVC pipe, you must clean the damaged portion since dust can prevent the resin from adhering to the surface. You can use damp rags or fibreglass cloth to clean the surface and apply the tape.
Keep in mind that the surface needs to be wet while wrapping the fibreglass or silicone repair tape around the damaged portion; otherwise, the resin will not activate. In addition, you can shine a UV light on top of the resin since this helps to cure the resin faster.
Epoxy is one of the strongest adhesives on the market, which makes it a suitable choice for fixing a leaking PVC pipe. Most people call repair epoxy a putty since it can be used on joints or cracked surfaces. Before applying the liquid epoxy to the surface, you must prepare it by cleaning the damaged portion.
A fibreglass resin cloth is ideal for cleaning such surfaces since it will absorb all the moisture from the surface and leave it dry. You can then proceed to apply the epoxy by following the instructions given by the manufacturer. Once you have applied the liquid epoxy, you must let it dry and cure properly.
3. Rubber and Silicone Tape
If you are dealing with minor PVC pipe repairs, rubber and silicone tape will be the simplest way to fix them. Like fibreglass resin tape, the rubber and silicone tapes are available in a rolled form that can easily be applied to the damaged surface.
However, it works differently since the repair tape sticks to itself rather than the damaged surface. As such, it doesn’t require water to activate the adhesion, which makes it an excellent alternative. While fixing the damage, you must wrap the silicone tape tightly around the area so there is no space for the water to leak.
Additionally, the compression of the tape will prevent water from sipping through tiny gaps and cracks. So, sealing it tightly will guarantee a better temporary repair.
4. Hose Clamps And Rubber Tape
Like the previous method, you can use rubber tape and hose clamps to repair minor leaks in PVC pipes. It also uses compression to seal damaged areas and prevent the water from leaking. You can start by wrapping the rubber tape over the damaged surface and securing the tape by using hose clamps.
We recommend using a tight hose clamp to keep the tape in place securely. However, this is just another form of temporary repair since hose clamps and rubber tape will become ineffective if the damaged portion starts to spread. Therefore, we recommend looking for a permanent repair solution as long as the damage is small. If you delay the repair, it can cause severe damage to your property.
Lastly, you can replace the old PVC pipes as a permanent solution. Here is a list of steps you must follow while replacing the damaged drain pipes:
- Begin the process by cutting the leaky PVC pipe about one inch from the right and left of the damaged portion
- Drain out all the excess water from the PVC joint and dry the area using a fibreglass cloth
- After you have cut away the broken PVC pipe, you can dry-fit the replacement pipe to the hole and see if it fits well
- You can then proceed to apply PVC solvent glue inside the replacement PVC joint and the outside of the old pipe
- Following this, you must apply glue to the PVC pipe and the replacement fitting
- Once you have applied the glue, you can proceed to join the existing pipe into the replacement PVC fitting and secure it in place.
- Make sure to hold the PVC pipe for around 10 seconds till the glue bonds the two pipes.
Check out if pipe relining is a better alternative than pipe replacement. A relined pipe may last longer than your replaced pipe, and you’ll save more if you opt for the former than the latter.
Common Causes Of Leaking PVC Pipes
There are a few common reasons why PVC pipes may start to leak over time. Minor leaks can sometimes be caused by normal wear and tear on older pipes. Cracks or fractures in the piping material may allow small amounts of water to escape, causing leaky pipes.
Pipes can also develop leaks if they are not installed or joined properly. Using the wrong adhesive when joining pipes increases the risk of premature failure, leading to a PVC leak. Extreme temperature fluctuations from hot to cold can cause PVC pipes to expand and contract, which can stress pipe joints and connections and potentially cause cracks or splits to form, resulting in a leaky pipe.
Sometimes leaks may also be triggered by nearby excavation or building work that puts pressure on buried water supply pipes, potentially resulting in temporary repairs being needed until a broken pipe can be replaced. It’s important to identify the source and size of any leak, as this helps determine if a temporary repair is suitable or if the damaged section of the pipe needs replacement to avoid ongoing leak issues.
A minor leak can sometimes be slowed through temporary repairs using rubber tape or silicone sealant, but larger leaks from a broken pipe usually require replacement of the affected pipe section.
Prevent PVC Pipes Leaks: Understanding PVC Pipe Repair
To conclude, we would like to share a few tips to help prevent PVC pipes from leaking. Firstly, always tighten the joint fittings while installing the PVC pipes. This will ensure the water doesn’t leak out from loose joints or gaps.
Secondly, you should perform regular maintenance on the pipes since corrosion can cause the pipes to develop leakage problems. In case you notice any old pipes in the plumbing system, you must get them changed to prevent potential leakage problems.
Lastly, you can install a weatherproof PVC pipe if your area experiences intense weather conditions.
If you need quality plumbing services to look after your pipes, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our professional Sydney plumbers can work on pipe repairs and replacement, burst pipes, CCTV drain camera leak detection, pipe relining and more. Request a free quote now!
That said, it’s a wrap. See you next time!