Copper Pipe Leaks: Fix Them Yourself

Home & Garden Blog

Leaks in your copper water pipes can increase your utility bills by wasting water and also make a soggy mess in your house. In some cases, however, you can fix the problem yourself. This article examines two practical methods at your disposal for fixing leaks in your copper plumbing pipes. 

Compression Coupling 

The first method involves a special type of plumbing hardware called a compression coupling. It's made especially to connect two sections of copper piping and generally comes in lengths of 6 and 12 inches. To begin, turn off the water to your home at the main valve and drain any water remaining in the pipes. Then remove the section that has the leak with a pipe cutter. Next, use sandpaper or an emery board to smooth the insides of the pipe's open ends. 

You are now ready to install your compression coupling, which should extend at least 1 inch past the pipe openings on each end. Place a brass ferrule, or fitting, on one open end of the copper pipe and place a nut and washer on the coupling. Next, place the end of the coupling into the fitting and tighten by hand. Finish tightening the coupling with a wrench. Repeat the process on the other side. 

Repair Clamp 

Another technique involves using a repair clamp that is made of metal. This method works well for very small leaks that are called pinhole leaks but is not recommended for larger leaks. You can find a metal repair clamp for your copper pipes at most hardware of home improvement stores. 

To get started, turn off the water at the main valve just as you would with the compression coupling method. Remove any dirt or debris from the area with the leaks and then place the clamp over the pinhole. The metal clamp will have some rubber padding on its inside. Make sure that the pad is centered over the pinhole. Tighten the screws and nuts on the clamp until the clamp is firmly secured to the pipe. Be careful not to turn the screws too tight. This could possibly cause damage to your pipes. 

These techniques should work for most leaks in copper pipes, but not every homeowner feels comfortable working with plumbing pipes. Perhaps it seems like a messy job that would rather have done by an expert. If you prefer that a professional handle this task, contact a qualified plumbing repair professional in your area.


12 April 2016