Homeowners typically choose PVC as the preferred pipe material for their indoor plumbing system. It doesn’t readily corrode unlike other common materials. Therefore, it is less likely to contaminate their drinking water with pipe particles or other infiltrating elements. 

Still, PVC can sustain damage like tiny, hairline fractures or large, visible cracks. Both types of damage mean big trouble for your home without prompt repairs. How do pros perform cracked PVC pipe repair services, anyway? 

Our reputable plumbing repair experts in Pacifica, CA developed a guide on how our team tackles problematic PVC damage for most residential properties. Our approach quickly protects your home, plumbing system, and drinking water. Call us at (650) 414-3511 for plumbing repair services. 

Why Do PVC Pipes Fracture?

Although PVC is a durable, long-lasting material, it can degrade with time and wear and tear. Yet, most homeowners have experiences with damaged PVC pipes that range from an inconvenient minor leak to an explosive disaster. The reasons behind PVC pipe fractures depend on the age, maintenance, and service provided to the overall plumbing system.

Improper installation is among the most common reasons fractures and cracks develop. Don’t let appearances deceive you. Even though PVC pipe installation seems like a straightforward process, it requires an expert’s touch to prevent future complications. 

Common drain cleaning products are another reason plumbers often encounter cracked PVC pipes. You should use drain cleaners as sparingly as possible, relying primarily on less harsh methods or calling professionals to remove inconvenient drain clogs. Chemical drain cleaners have corrosive chemicals that can affect even the toughest materials. 

Finally, exposure and aging are often culprits of damaged PVC pipes. A pipe that remains exposed to the sun for long periods will inevitably degrade as a result of the constant heat and UV exposure. When homeowners don’t take the proper precautions for protecting their plumbing during frigid weather, they run the risk of burst pipes from ice blockages. 

How Can You Tell When a Pipe Springs a Leak?

If you suspect you have a leaky PVC pipe, you’re probably correct. You can verify your hunch by taking inventory of the signs commonly associated with leaky pipes. 

  • An area of your home might smell musty. You may even notice the presence of mold or mildew on the floor or wall.
  • Your water bills have increased without explanation. 
  • You note the presence of damp areas or even puddles in the affected area. 
  • Water stains spread along the walls or ceilings of an affected room. 
  • Paint peels or cracks from moisture on the walls. 
  • The floor begins buckling or warping in certain areas. 

Each of these signs indicates a potentially dangerous and damaging leak. Schedule cracked PVC pipe repair service from a qualified plumber. They’ll likely choose the following repair methods to handle the issue. 

#1 Pros Have the Tools

Pipe repairs begin with a plethora of tools necessary to properly fix the fracture. Different situations will call for varying tools and materials to complete the repair. A plumber will always have the items necessary for any circumstances. 

Some common tools they’ll carry include:

  • A sanding or polishing tool
  • PVC glue
  • Fiberglass
  • Epoxy putty
  • Silicone tape
  • Personal protection equipment such as gloves and goggles
  • New piping if necessary

#2 Turning the Water Valve Off

Once the plumber arrives at your home, they’ll locate the valve response for the water supply that causes the leak. Before beginning the repair service, they’ll turn the valve off. Although no one will use the faucet during the repair service, small amounts of water can still travel toward the leak, bungling any repair attempts. 

One of the perks of hiring a plumber is that they can easily locate all water valves. Many modern houses have multiple valves supplying water to the house. If you don’t know which is which, you could turn off the wrong one or cut off the entire house’s water supply. With a plumber on the job, you might be able to use faucets or toilets in other rooms. 

#3 Assessing the Cracked Pipe

After cutting the water supply, the plumber will locate and inspect the damaged PVC pipe. The method they’ll use to mend the pipe depends largely upon:

  • The pipe’s age
  • The size of the crack
  • The intensity of the leak
  • The reason behind the leak

Once the plumber gathers the necessary information, they can begin the repair process. The damage incurred directly influences the repair materials and tools used throughout the process. 

#4 Preparing the Pipe

Many PVC repairs begin with cleaning and drying the leak site. If any algae, mold, or dirt has gathered around the fractured area, it can prevent repair materials from curing properly. The plumber uses a sanitizing agent to remove these particles. 

#5 Polishing the Fractured Area

Next, the plumber will polish off any rough or jagged areas using a sanding tool or sandpaper. Jagged or messy fractures can present a challenge as the plumber attempts to close the crack with the repair materials. A quick polish makes all edges even and ready for the materials. 

The plumber will then wipe the pipe free of dust after polishing.  

#6 Mending the Pipe

What materials does a plumber use to repair a fractured PVC? They may apply various substances. As mentioned above, it completely depends on the age and condition of the pipe. 

  • Silicone tape can temporarily mend small punctures or minor cracks until you are ready for a replacement service.
  • Larger areas of damage may require something stronger, like fiberglass filling. 
  • If you have an aging indoor plumbing system, you may need epoxy putty to close off fractures on old PVC pipes. 
  • In some cases, PVC glue works best for its simplicity and excellent adhesion. 

Regardless of the material required, a plumber will certainly have it on hand. Plus, you don’t need to worry about faulty adhesion. 

#7 Allowing Materials to Cure 

After a plumber repairs a fracture, you can’t send a stream of water gushing through the pipes just yet. The plumber will wait for at least ten minutes, allowing the repair materials to dry and harden. If someone sends water through the connected passages immediately, they could ruin the work entirely. 

The soaked, uncured materials would become contaminated with water. They could disintegrate. This not only allows water to seep back through the pipe walls, but it also could thwart future repairs with uneven, half-cured materials still clinging to the edges of the fracture. 

#8 Testing the Repairs

Once the plumber is certain the materials have cured completely, they’ll test their work. First, they’ll turn the water connection back on. Then, they’ll run water through the pipe in increasing amounts to make sure their work sticks. If they see any other issues, they’ll handle those before leaving. 

Otherwise, you can enjoy running water with no concerns in the near future. 

#9 Follow-Up

Some repairs are only meant to hold temporarily. Thus, you may need to follow up with more intense repairs or even pipe replacements. Could leaks develop in other parts of your plumbing system? Schedule services for those pipes as well!  

How to Prevent Fractured PVC Pipes

Some fractures are unavoidable, especially when they develop due to age, wear, and tear. However, you can prevent PVC fractures with some occasional maintenance routines and changes to how you handle your pipes on a daily basis. 

  • Don’t shrug off temperatures that fall below freezing. Icy temps are one of the main reasons behind burst PVC pipes.
  • Only use chemical drain cleaners as a last resort. Other mixtures, like boiling water with dish soap or vinegar, are far less corrosive to PVC materials. 
  • Keep an eye on your exposed or aging pipes. When they start looking discolored, weathered, or under stress, they need pipe replacements before they develop a serious fracture or puncture in their surface. 

Ask your plumber about other ways you can prevent fractures from forming in your PVC pipes. They can draw from personal experience and training to help you prolong your indoor plumbing system

Why Choose Plumbers for Cracked PVC Pipe Repair

Many homeowners attempt DIY repairs for their cracked PVC pipes. While they sometimes have temporary success with small perforations, they may come to regret their handiwork. Most homeowners don’t know the nuances attached to PVC pipe repair. But a plumber knows it well. 

Attempting DIY repairs could lead to:

  • Ineffective repair material that degrades quickly when water and pressure applied
  • An assumption that the repair worked, leading to continued water damage
  • Choosing the wrong materials for the circumstances, thwarting professional repair attempts
  • Assumptions that temporary fixes are permanent or semi-permanent, leading to continued damage. 

Your plumber will provide accurate information about how long their repair will last and when you should take the next steps. 

Let Works Plumbing Come to Your Rescue

Are you seeking reputable plumbers to perform cracked PVC pipe repair in your home? Look no further! Our team at Works Plumbing knows all the signs that you have a plumbing issue. We also have the knowledge and skill for trustworthy solutions. 

Call (650) 414-3511 to book our services today.

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