Do you sometimes see a puddle of water under your PVC pipe or joint? That leak is probably coming from a joint, which can easily be fixed without cutting the pipe. Water leaks at a joint if the end caps are not properly installed or fastened. Once you discover the leak and locate its source, fixing it should not take long. Here is how to fix leaking PVC joints without cutting and get them watertight again.
How To Fix Leaking Pvc Joint Without Cutting?
Check the Cause of the Leak
Before you even think about fixing a leaking PVC joint, you need to first check if it is, indeed, the joint that’s causing the leak. If you don’t check the cause and try to fix the leak while it’s still coming from the joint, you’ll be wasting your time and effort and won’t get anywhere. If the leak is coming from the joint, then it could be due to one of two reasons. First, the joint might not have been properly sealed in the first place. Or second, the seal might have worn off over time due to corrosion or other factors. Whatever the case may be, you need to first find out what the cause of the leak is so that you can fix it correctly.
Use a PVC Repair Kit
If the leak is coming from the joint, you can use a PVC repair kit to fix it without having to cut the joint open. Doing so will ensure that the flow of water through the pipe isn’t interrupted. The repair kit usually consists of a rubber sealant, a screw-on fitting, and a compression fitting. You start by shutting off the water supply to the leaking joint. Next, you’ll need to remove the fitting from the joint and clean the surrounding area thoroughly. Once the area is clean, you apply the rubber sealant to the fitting by mixing it with solvent. You then replace the fitting and screw it into the joint. You finish the process by turning on the water supply to the leaking joint.
Apply Duct Tape
If you don’t have access to a PVC repair kit, then you can apply duct tape on the leaking joint to stop the flow of water. You can easily find duct tape in any store or online so you won’t have any trouble getting your hands on it. But before you apply duct tape on the joint, make sure you clean the area thoroughly. You can use a solvent or a cleaning solution to do this. Duct tape is a temporary fix and you don’t want it to be there for too long as it might cause more harm than good. You can wrap the joint with duct tape and use a watertight sealer to secure it.
Try a Hot Shoe Shaping Process
As we’ve already discussed, the most common reason for a joint to leak is because of corrosion. If the joint has been in use for a long time, then the seal on it might have worn off resulting in a leak. To stop the leak and also prevent it from happening again, you can use a hot shoe shaping process. You need an oxy-acetylene torch for this. You start by cutting off the leaking joint. Next, you clean the surrounding area thoroughly. You then apply flux to the area where you want to weld the copper pipe and wait for it to melt. You then apply a filler rod to the joint, add the copper pipe and torch the joint to fuse the copper pipe. You then finish the process by applying a sealant.
Completely Replace the Joint
If the above methods don’t work for you, then you can try to completely replace the joint. It is a more time-consuming and expensive process but it’s better than having a leaking joint in your house. You can hire a professional to do the replacement for you. To replace the joint, you need to shut off the water supply. You then remove the fitting from the leaking joint and clean the surrounding area thoroughly. You then cut off the joint and scrap the remaining copper pipe from the joint. You can either cut off the remaining pipe from the PVC joint or replace it with another pipe. You then clean the bevel on the fitting, apply flux and replace the fitting. You finish the process by turning on the water supply.
How To Check For A Leaking Pvc Joint?
Check The Drain
One of the most common places for a PVC joint to fail is in the trap. This is the U-shaped piece that is meant to catch large debris and keep it out of the main plumbing system. Traps are usually made out of PVC, so they can be subject to the same problems as the rest of the PVC piping system. If you find that your trap is always full of water, it may be because there is a leak at the joint between the trap and the pipe. The water that is in the trap needs to go somewhere, so it will back up and find its way into the sink or toilet. You can use a simple cleaner like vinegar to clear the trap and see if the problem goes away.
Monitor The Flowing Water
If you suspect that a joint is leaking, place a bucket under the joint to catch the water. After an amount of time, check the bucket to see if there is any water. If there is, you will know that there is a leak, and you can track it down to the source. This is the most painstaking way to check for a leak, but it can be very effective if you are persistent. If you are working with a joint that is made of CPVC, it is best to use distilled water in the bucket. CPVC is more sensitive to minerals in water than standard PVC, so you can use distilled water to both checks for a leak and clean out the joint if necessary.
Check For Discoloration
One of the signs of a leaking joint is discoloration. Leaks will often cause the area around the joint to turn green due to the growth of mold or mildew. This is especially likely if you have hard water, as the minerals in the water will contribute to the discoloration. If the joint does not have a crack or other defect, it may be possible to clean it and restore the PVC. You can use a cleaning solution, such as chlorine bleach or vinegar, to kill the mold and bacteria. Then you can remove the cleaning solution with a rag and some clean water to leave the joint sanitary and ready to be used again.
Look For Rotting Or Decay
Finally, you can inspect the joint itself for signs of rotting or decay. Look for discoloration and rotting at the top of the joint, where it meets the adjoining pipe. This is especially likely if you have a joint that is made of wood, as wood is very subject to decay and rot. If you see signs of decay or rotting, you will need to either replace or repair the joint. The type of joint you have will determine whether you can clean it or if you need to replace it entirely.
Tips To Avoid Future Pvc Joint Leaks
- Now that you know how to fix a PVC joint leak, you will want to avoid future leaks in joints. Here are some tips that you can follow to do just that:
- Always use the same type of PVC joint for repair. For example, you should use a pipe joint with a lap joint. Using a different joint can cause leaks, which you will have to fix again.
- Before you plug a joint, make sure it is clean and dry. The dirt inside the joint can cause leaks, so you should always clean the inside of PVC joints with a pipe cleaner.
- Always apply PVC primer to the threads of a joint before you apply PVC cement. This will prevent the joint from leaking in the future.
- Avoid plugging up joints that are not leaking. If a joint is dry and you plug it in, it will dry out the rest of the pipe.
As you can see, fixing a leaking PVC joint is a simple task. However, you should do it as soon as you notice a leak because it can quickly damage the surrounding area. Now that you know how to fix a PVC joint leak, you will want to avoid future leaks in joints. Here are some tips that you can follow to do just that: – Always use the same type of PVC joint for a repair. Now that you know how to fix a PVC joint leak, you will want to avoid future leaks in joints. Follow these tips to do just that.