Water pipes may burst for different reasons. However, they mostly burst when water within them freezes and expands, thereby putting excessive pressure on them and this leads to a burst.
To repair a burst pipe, you need to start with turning off the main water supply and then fixing the burst pipe.
In case you get a burst pipe, your priority should be making it work again soonest possible no matter what it’ll take. There’re many products that are readily available in the market for fixing burst pipes temporarily. They include fiberglass tape, epoxy putty, and clamps with sleeves.
Temporary fixes can serve the purpose for a weekend, but you’d rather do a permanent fix. Regardless of the repair approach you’ll take, avoid shopping for repair kits before you determine the pipe’s diameter and material.
One of the fixes you can try is using epoxy putty. Epoxy putty will seal a leaking pipe, but will only work as a short time fix. Fiberglass tape combined with a polyurethane type of resin offers a more durable patch, and is often used together with putty. A sleeve and clamp is another fix, and is advantageous in being quick and affordable.
Fixing the leak with a slip coupling can be said to be a relatively permanent solution, but it demands unblemished and straight pipes made of a specific material and of precise diameter. Whichever product you prefer, you need to follow the directions of the manufacturer, else the product won’t work.
WARNING! Replace any section of the pipe that is already patched. When pipes move naturally, the patch may start leaking again.
In case a pipe bursts, don’t panic. First, shut off the main water supply to that pipe. If there’s no shutoff valve near the leaking pipe, then shut off your home’s water supply from the main shut off valve. Proceed to dry the affected pipe by draining any water in it. You can do this by opening all faucets connected to that pipe.
TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW
TOOLS & SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
- Metallic file
- Adjustable wrench
- Channel pliers
- Tuning cutter
- Disposable gloves
- Sleeve and clamp
- Tape measure
- Fiberglass tape that has polyurethane resin
- Epoxy putty for plumbing
- Full slip type of repair coupling
- Making compression joints
- Using tubing cutters
The difficulty level for this task is easy to moderate. It’ll take you just a few minutes to do the repair.
Fixing a Burst Pipe Using a Clamp and Sleeve
You can use a clamp and sleeve repair kit to temporarily fix a leaking copper pipe. This kit is easily available in most local hardware stores.
Before doing the fix, ensure the main water supply to the affected pipe is turned off. Then smoothen any rough areas around the damaged section with a metallic file.
Center the rubber sleeve over the burst. Ensure the seam of the clamp is facing the opposite direction to the rupture once the sleeve surrounds the pipe.
Take the metallic clamps and put them around the rubber sleeve.
Use a screwdriver to tighten the clamp by its screws. Next, open the water supply to the pipe. Watch for any leaks. In case it continues leaking, then start the process again and slightly change the position of the sleeve.
Even when the leak stops, get the ruptured section of the pipe replaced soonest possible.
Applying a Slip Coupling to Fix a Burst Copper Pipe
In case you want a better and longer-lasting fix, though not a permanent one, then use a slip coupling. The best option should be a coupling with compression capabilities, but you can use a copper tube slip coupling.
The interior diameter of the tubing should be equal to that of the pipe’s exterior diameter. However, such a coupling requires soldering. To use the coupling, start with turning off the water supply to the leaking pipe.
Mark the section of the affected pipe that needs replacement. Include some section beyond the burst area. The area you’ll cut out should be within the repair coupling’s copper section.
Slightly tighten the cutter on the marked cutting line. Cut a ring-shaped line. It should be a straight line and not spiral. As you rotate the cutter, tighten it a little bit more with each and every rotation. Stop once the copper pipe snaps. Do the same for the other marked section.
Neaten and smoothen any rough edges on the pipes using the triangle-shaped blade of the cutter.
Take the compression rings and nuts that come with the coupling and slip them onto the pipe sections that you’ve already cut. Next, slip the coupling onto one end of the pipe.
Slide the slip coupling further on the pipe. Next, slide it onto the other end. In short, ensure the repair section is centered within the coupling. Use a pair of pliers to tighten each and every compression nut as you stabilize the coupling using an adjustable pipe wrench.