When you are faced with water line damage, you want to get a qualified plumber to handle the water line repair immediately. No matter what plumbing service you call, it is likely that your water lines will be repaired using one of 3 methods. Some plumbers solder copper pipes together, some use compression fittings, and other use PEX tubing to repair your water lines.
If your plumber is performing water line repair by soldering the copper pipes together, the first step they will take will be to cut the copper pipe as the damaged section with a tube cutter. As copper is a softer metal, it’s easy to cut with a tube cutter. A ridge of copper should be pushed inside the pipe during this cutting process. This is called a burr. The plumber should smooth out this burr before continuing. The burr would be removed with a reaming tool as it can interfere with water flow and also make for a tighter connection. In order to end up with a solid, leak free joint, the copper pipe will need to be cleaned with a 120 grit emery cloth. Any matte areas should shine after being cleaned by this cloth. The purpose is to remove dirt and corrosion so that the joint solders perfectly. To clean the inside of the joint, plumber should use either a fitting brush or the piece of emery cloth wrapped around their finger. Either way, the plumber should avoid touching the already cleaned pipe with his or her hands when doing so. A thin layer of flux should then be added to the joint and pipe. After the pipe is pushed into the joint, the excess flux should be wiped away. The final step is to heat the joint and allow the flow the solder to slide in between the two pipes. After this, the pipe should be leak free.
Compression fittings can also be used to repair water lines. During this method, the tube is once again cut evenly. The copper pipe should have completely round ends. A Sharkbite deburr gauge can be used to smooth out the rough edges, as these rough edges could damage the O-ring. A Sharkbite depth gauge can then be used to mark the depth. This tool ensures accuracy. After this is completed, the copper tube should be inserted into the release collar until it touches the steel grab ring, then pushed through the O-ring to the depth mark.
PEX tubing has become increasingly more popular in the market of water line repair. This method works by first using the PEX tubing cutter to cut out any sections of copper pipe that appear damaged or have caused leaks. After this, a new piece of PEX should be prepared. This piece should be larger in length than the length necessary for repair. A crimp connection method should be used to connect the tubing to the fitting with a go-no-go gauge.
If you are in the market for water line repair, give us a call. Our skilled plumbers will choose the method most suited to your water line damage.