Pipes come with threads that make it possible to connect pipes together or connect them to other plumbing fittings tightly without leaking water. However, the threads can wear out over time.
It’s advisable to repair any damaged pipe threads as soon as possible to avoid a major disaster. A minor leak through damaged threads can turn out to be a major leakage with time, leading to property damage and increased water bills.
Basically, the materials used in making pipes vary. Some are more challenging to fix than others. It all depends on the toughness of the pipe material. For instance, copper pipes are softer than steel pipes.
Thus, it’s easier to repair threads on copper pipes than those on steel pipes. Regardless of the pipe material, the repair process is similar.
Here are the steps you’ll follow when repairing pipe threads:
Get a pipe vice and mount the metallic pipe on it. Mount the pipe tight enough. It shouldn’t move at all upon mounting. The pipe end you’re repairing shouldn’t stick from the vice beyond 12 inches. Once done, move to the next step.
Take a piece of clean rag or towel and wipe the pipe end you’re fixing. Wipe it off to remove any debris or dirt that might be stuck on the pipe. Next, use cutting oil to lubricate the pipe end.
Fix a threaded pipe die on the pipe end you’re repairing. Ensure the pipe die lines up perfectly to ensure the threads are repaired correctly. In case you don’t line it up properly, you’ll end up making crooked threads.
Rotate the die clockwise over the existing pipe threads up to a ¼ turn. If the pipe threads are extremely damaged, then it won’t be possible to repair them with a ¼ turn. In this case, proceed to the next step.
Turn the die clockwise by its handle for a ½ turn. Next, turn the die counterclockwise for a ¼ turn. Turning the die counterclockwise will remove any metallic filings that are generated when making the threads. Use a clean, dry piece of rag to wipe off any metallic debris.
Turn the die again clockwise a ½ turn, followed by another ¼ counterclockwise turn until the die reaches the pipe end. The die should fully cover the damaged pipe threads. However, ensure it doesn’t cover the pipe end beyond its width.
Rotate the die counterclockwise continuously until you get it out of the pipe. Keep holding the die in place when it’s almost coming off to get it out straight. Remove it carefully to avoid damaging the threads you’ve just made.
Take a clean piece of rag and wipe the pipe end. Dislodge any metallic filings left in the die by tapping it on a solid surface, preferably a wooden table.