Repairing A Split Water Supply Pipe With A Compression Coupling

4 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Nothing's quite as stressful as a leaky pipe--except perhaps for the thought of trying to repair it using solder and a blowtorch. Luckily, you may be able to solve the problem using a compression coupling instead.

Begin by draining the damaged pipes.

Obviously, you can't perform repairs while there's still water in the pipes. Thus you'll need to start things off by closing your main water supply valve. Then turn on all of your ground floor faucets. This will empty the system of water, while preventing new water from flowing into the pipes.

Cut out the damaged pipe.

Now it's time to carefully remove the damaged part of the water pipe. To ensure the best results, you're going to want to do this using one of two tools: a hacksaw with a good fresh blade, or a rotary pipe cutter. If you've got a limited amount of room to work in, you may need to use a special type of rotary cutter known as a mini tubing cutter.

After cutting out the damaged portion of pipe, use a piece of sandpaper to remove any burrs or rough spots from the cut ends. Make sure the sandpaper is clearly labeled as being intended for use of metal. Such sandpapers generally contain grits made of either emery or aluminum oxide.

Fit the compression coupling into place.

It's important to be aware that compression couplings comes in many different sizes. Thus, for one thing, it is vital that your repair coupling matches the diameter of the pipe you're fixing. Likewise, the coupling must be long enough to safely overlap the damaged portion. Make sure that this overlap is a minimum of one inch on each side. If not, the coupling is at risk of coming loose or leaking down the line.

The first step in the installation process is to put the compression nuts in place. There should be one of them on each of the two pipe ends. Now slip the rings--sometimes also referred to as ferrules--onto the pipes as well. Once these are in place, all that's left is to fit the coupling itself into place.

Now tighten the compression nut on either end. This will lock the coupling firmly into place, preventing any leaks. Be careful, however, not to tighten them too much. When this happens, the rings can bend and warp, thereby compromising the water tight seal. Stop after one complete rotation of the nuts, and your pipe should be ready for action once more.

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