Many homeowners shy away from repairing leaky water pipes because they assume it will require the use of solder and a welding torch. Yet it is also possible to repair a pipe using the device known as a compression coupling. If you would like to learn more about performing this basic--and fairly simple--repair, read on. This article will teach you how to get a leaky pipe back to normal in a few short steps.
Draining water from the pipes.
Be warned: in order to make the repair dryly, you'll need to first void the pipes of any water. This involves first closing off the main water supply valve, which is most often located in the basement of your home. Once you've stopped any new water from flowing into the pipes, you'll want to open up all the faucets on the lowest level of your home. This will drain away the water that is currently in the pipes.
Cutting out the damaged section of pipe.
The next step is to get the bad section of pipe of out place. To do this you'll need one of two cutting tools: a hacksaw, or a special pipe-cutting saw known as a rotary tubing cutter. If the damaged section of pipe is hard to access, you may also consider using the version of a rotary tubing cutter known as a mini tubing cutter. This saw has a compact shape that allows you to make precision cuts in even the tightest of spaces.
Now that you've cut away the damaged portion of pipe, you'll want to sand the two ends of the remaining pipe. Use a sandpaper with fine grit--preferably one designed specifically for sanding soft metals such as copper. The best sandpaper will be one that contains either emery or aluminum oxide grit.
Installing the compression repair coupling.
The compression repair coupling you use must match your existing water pipe in two ways. First, it must have the same diameter. Second, it must be the appropriate length to make up for the cut section of pipe. Purchase a repair coupling long enough to cover the two existing ends of pipe by a minimum of 1", otherwise the coupling may be prone to failure down the line.
The repair coupling will come with two special compression nuts, as well as two smooth rings, which are commonly known as ferrules. First slip the compression nuts onto the pipe ends on either wise of the cut section. Then do the same thing with the ferrules. Now you are ready to fit the coupling itself into place. It should nestle over part of the two ferrules, but not the compression nuts.
Now you can tighten the compression nuts, so as to wedge the ferrules into place. This is how water is kept from getting past the coupling. That said, be careful not to tighten the nuts excessively, as this will warp the ferrules, thus allowing water to leak out. A single 360 degree rotation of the compression nut should suffice to lock the coupling into place. Congratulations, you did it!
For more information, contact a company like Action Plumbing & Heating.