Even the tiniest hairline crack in a PVC pipe can lead to bigger problems down the road, so you should replace a cracked section of a drainpipe as soon as possible to prevent costly water damage to your home. You can keep most minor leaks at bay using PVC repair materials. Fiberglass, rubber and silicone repair tape, and epoxy can all be used to stave off leaks, but this is a temporary fix, not a permanent solution, and it should be used for drainpipes only. Cracked sections of a water supply pipe should always be replaced.
Use Repair Tape for Minor Cracks
Regardless of the cause of the crack, whether freezing temperatures, using the wrong adhesive glue, or improper installation of a PVC fitting onto the joining pipe, you can use rubber and silicone repair tape to temporarily repair it as long as it's minor. Rubber and silicone tape helps compress the crack so that the leaking ceases. Simply cut off a long section of tape and wrap it around the leak, extending beyond the damaged area on both sides so that it's completely covered.
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Use Fiberglass as a Temporary Fix
Using fiberglass works well as a temporary solution for cracked PVC pipes. Fiberglass wrap is a fiberglass cloth that's coated with water-activated resin. The resin helps greatly to slow any leaking. To use it, wipe the pipe clean with a damp cloth. Then, while the pipe is still wet, wrap the tape around the affected area. Let the resin harden fully, which can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes or more.
Use Epoxy to Repair Older Pipes
Epoxy is one of the most commonly used solutions for repairing cracked PVC pipes, especially for homes with older pipes. It comes in both putty and liquid forms, and it can be used to temporarily repair leaks on PVC and its joints.
To repair a crack using epoxy, first use a clean rag to thoroughly clean and dry the cracked pipe. Next, mix the material according to the manufacturer's instructions. Finally, use the epoxy to coat the part of the pipe that's cracked and let it cure for at least 10 minutes. After the epoxy hardens, run water through the drain and check for any leaks.
Remember that these quick-fix repairs are just that — a quick fix. Cracked pipes can result in serious structural damage to your home if you don't replace them right away.