Tip & How-To about Plumbing
Copper piping is a great way to run the water lines in your home. But what do you do when the piping fails to keep the water on the inside? The most common form of leak in copper piping is a “pin-hole” leak. This type of leak can be repaired very quickly and easily with some new innovations on the market today.
The greatest thing to come along for quite a while for the do it yourself market is the push type fitting that fits any CTS (copper tube size) tubing. It does not matter if the piping is copper, cpvc, poly, pex, or whatever. Just so it is standard CTS size around. These fittings come in many forms, configurations, and name brands. A couple of the most common brands would be Sharkbite, Tektite, Cash-Acme, and Watts. I have tried them all and they do all work well, so do not be so concerned with the brands as the availability. In others words do not be afraid to use whatever you can find quickly, it will probably work just fine.
Now to repair a leak all you have to do is identify the source of the leak. Some times it may be a very slow drip that can run along the pipe for a space before dripping off of the pipe. Do not assume that the spot of the drip is the spot of the leak. Other times the leak will be a very fine spray that can make it very hard to identify exactly where it water is coming from. Hold up a piece of paper or cardboard and watch where and how the water is hitting it. That will help you trace the spray back to the hole in the pipe.
The next problem can be getting the pipe cut with out crushing it. Copper piping that is leaking often can be so thin that it has very little structural integrity left in it. With a good sharp tubing cutter you can cut through the pipe with out crushing it. Just be patient and only crank the cutter closed a little bit at a time, so you do not cave in the pipe as you cut it. A quarter turn of the knob on the cutter will be enough to cut the pipe and not crush the pipe.
Now after getting a good clean cut on both ends of the pipe just carefully push the repair coupling onto one end of the pipe. Then carefully get the other side of the pipe started into the coupling and push them together till they are seated into the coupling. All in all this is a very simple process that will take you less time then it will for you to find the fitting in a store and purchase the fitting.
The push repair fittings are a great thing to have on hand “just in case”. The next time you get to the hardware or home center, look them up and grab a couple for that next time you may need to make a quick repair in your water lines.
Posted by D. Floyd... on
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