FIX LEAKING COPPER PIPE – PINHOLES – Plumbing TipsPosted by fastekpl in Plumber Talk, on February 27, 2017
How to fix pinholes in copper pipe by using rubber and a jubilee clip, compression fittings and solder fittings. We also talk about how leaks can occur.
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Today we’re having a look at pin holes in copper pipe and the various ways of fixing them. I’ve made myself little jig up just down here. I got a little packer box. I’ve used some absolutely glorious new powerflow flux. We’ve created this small, little header tank. That runs down to a little lever valve, so we can control this little. Then we’ve got a 15mm to 22mm medusa, going onto a straight coupling, a loaded 22mm pipe, with a bung at the end. I’m gonna turn the water on for you now, so you know that it’s actually real. So we’re pretty much ready to drill a couple of very small holes that are gonna replicate the pin holes that you can get on copper pipe. We’ve got a really small bit here that’s gonna be drilled into our pipe to recreate our pin holes. So look at that. I’ve got water coming out everywhere. Number one, when you turn it up, so what am I gonna do? First thing, try to find out where you can turn the water off. Now the water is off. We’ve got our little tank up here. We can easily turn the water back on. Before we look into that, let’s figure out why is it that there’s pin holes in this pipe in the first place. Usually you find that it’s flux in the pipe work from when an apprentice, years ago, put too much flux in. It was from the days before water-soluble flux. It’s basically got caught in the pipes somewhere and over the last 30 years, or so, it’s basically bored its way through the pipe and you start getting these little pin holes. If that’s the reason, you’ve got to start worrying about the pipe work in the rest of the house. You’ve got to start thinking I’ll fix this pin hole now, but I might be back here in six months replacing the whole bit of pipe. First up, we’re going to do the, oh my god, there’s a pin hole. I need to get this fixed so I can pop back on and fix this properly. This is the quick fix. What you’re gonna do is get yourself a little bit of rubber. It could be anything rubber. Anything you can just press over the hole. Then grab yourself a jubilee clip. You’re going to basically pop this little bit of rubber over here and then you’re gonna get your jubilee clip and you’re gonna close your jubilee clip up, and then you’re gonna do that up nice and tight. You’ll notice, straight away, if you turn the water back on, we’ve still got our two other pin holes but the one we’ve done so far is now fixed temporarily. Now if we turn the water back on, you should see, no leaks. That’s pin hole pipe repair number one done. Now let’s have a quick look at pin hole pipe repair number two. The first thing we’ve got to do is turn the water off. I just want to reiterate, that the fix we’ve just done, here, is going to work pretty well on the gravity-fed system. If you’re mains pressure, just cross your fingers. This isn’t a proper fix, this is just get you down to the suppliers fix. We’ve got our next pin hole. I’m gonna show you how to fix that now. You need to find out exactly where the pin hole is. This is only gonna work, if you’ve got pipework that isn’t so completely ruined on the inside that it’s gonna fall apart when you put a pipe slice on it or a cutter. What you want to do is this, you want to get your pipe slice blade, if you can see it, or the blade of your hack saw, directly over the pin hole that you’ve actually got and that’s leaking. So you can see my blade, just here, so I’m just gonna pop that right over this, like so, and I’m just gonna cut this pipe now. This fix is only going to work, if you have a bit of spring in the pipe and, unfortunately, you’re probably not gonna know that until you’ve actually cut through it. Sometimes you can move it from side to side and if the pipe does move a bit, then you’re probably gonna have enough play to be able to slip a fitting on. There we go, we’ve made our cut, as you can see, you’ve got quite a bit of water coming out, so obviously get yourself a towel or a bucket. This is kind of the next level up. You need to use a straight, push fit, fitting, but they need so much spring, I don’t tend to recommend these. What we’re gonna do is get ourselves a compression fitting. We’re working on 22mm pipe here, so you’re gonna get a 22mm, compression fitting. What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna spring this pipe apart. It’s really difficult sometimes.