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Plumbing Repair: Busted Pipe

Posted by Bill Fenwick on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

bigstock--181515553.jpgBefore calling for plumbing repair, Jacksonville residents might want to learn how to repair a burst pipe on their own. Fixing a burst pipe isn't as hard as you might think. It only requires a few simple tools and items as well as some moderate soldering skills! We promise, it isn't as daunting as you might think!

Tools You Will Need

All of the tools and items you need can be found at your local hardware store:

  • A copper pipe cutter
  • Torch kit (consisting of a striker and torch)
  • Lead-free solder
  • Soldering flux / paste
  • Steel wool
  • Quality half-inch copper pipe
  • Two (2) half-inch copper fittings
  • Safety goggles
  • A bucket
  • Stop-and-waste valve (optional)

Skill Level Required: Intermediate

How to Fix a Burst Pipe

  1. After assembling all of your tools, find the main water valve so you can shut off the water to the house.  Once you have the water turned off, open the lowest faucets in the house to let excess water drain out and flush all of the toilets in the house.  Next, fit the pipe cutter to the section of burst pipe you wish to replace and rotate it around the pipe.  After this, tighten the cutter slowly until it cuts completely through.
  2. Repeat this on the other end of the pipe section that you want removed.  Then, use the steel wool to sand down any burrs on the existing pipe, using the bucket to catch any shavings that fall off. 
  3. Cut your replacement half-inch copper piping length a little longer than necessary to ensure that it fits properly.  Most water pipes are half-inch, but if yours are not, be certain you have the right diameter piping to fit your home's current pipes. 
  4. *Make sure that if you are if you are installing the stop-and-waste valve, use the steel wool to clean the inside connection of any burrs*
  5. Remove the small screw (called the "petcock") from the valve. Place soldering paste on the inside of the valve and on the end of the pipe. There is an arrow on the valve that lets you know which way it needs to be installed. Align the arrow on the valve with the direction water flows in the pipe and place the stop-and-waste valve on the pipe.
  6. Wearing protective eyecare, you then need to light the propane torch with the striker and hold the blue flame right on the fitting of the pipe.  Then, slide 2-inches of solder into the pipe and valve connection, allowing it to melt into the connection to form a solid bond. Solder the entire outside connection as well, being certain the circumference is completely sealed.  
  7. Repeat these soldering steps to connect the new assembly copper piping to the existing water line. Be certain that all connections are solidly soldered to ensure that there are no future leaks. You might have to use copper fittings to install the new assembly to the existing pipe depending on your situation. These fittings are available in many shapes, sizes and configurations. 
  8. Side note: If you have chosen to use a stop-and-waste valve, insert the petcock back into your pipe.  Even though the Florida climate does not cause an excess of frozen pipes, installing a stop-and-waste valve on a previously burst pipe will help cut down on the amount of professional plumbing repair Jacksonville Florida residents will need. 
  9. And FINALLY, re-open the main water valve and check your pipe for leaks.  If there is still a leak, turn off the water once again, dry the section of the pipe where the leak occurred completely and then re-solder the connection.  

And you're all done!

Professional Plumbing Repair

After that, your water pipes should work normally again. If you are still having problems with leaking or don't want to go through all these steps, it's advised you call a professional. There are many options for plumbing repair in Jacksonville--be sure to call the only one that can fix all of your plumbing repair problems: Bill Fenwick Plumbing. 

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Tags: DIY, Tips, plumbing tips, Bill Fenwick Plumbing, Broken Pipe, main water valve, Water leaks

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