How to Repair a Hole in PVC Plumbing

Written by paul massey
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Polyvinyl chloride, known by its abbreviation PVC, is an extruded polymer piping material commonly used in residential plumbing systems. Although PVC has a fairly high compressive strength, an unexpected impact or freezing of water in a line can crack or puncture the pipe. Repairing a hole in PVC will restore the full use of the piping.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Hacksaw or tubing cutter
  • Utility knife or sandpaper
  • 2 PVC coupling fittings
  • PVC cleaner
  • PVC pipe
  • PVC cement
  • Clean rag

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  1. 1

    Shut off any water flow through the PVC plumbing pipe being repaired and drain any standing water that might be trapped in the line.

  2. 2

    Cut the damaged PVC pipe about half an inch beyond each end of the hole or crack using a hacksaw or tubing cutter. Use a utility knife blade or piece of sandpaper to scrape the inside and outside perimeter of the cuts and remove any burrs.

  3. 3

    Measure the space between the end cuts of the damaged PVC pipe.

  4. 4

    Cut a length of new PVC pipe to the dimension measured in Step 3 minus 1/4 of an inch. This will be the repair section of PVC pipe.

  5. 5

    Apply a liberal amount of PVC cleaner to the pipe. Wipe the ends with a clean rag to remove any dust, then coat about one inch of the ends of the cut PVC plumbing line and both ends of the repair section cut in Step 4. Apply the cleaner using the applicator attached to the cap of the container. Also apply cleaner to the inside of both end openings in two PVC coupling fittings. Allow the cleaner to dry thoroughly before continuing.

  6. 6

    Apply PVC cement to about half an inch of one end of the PVC repair section piece and immediately slide one of the PVC coupling fittings onto the end. Note: PVC cement allows only a few seconds to cure and the coupling must be inserted fully into place before the cement dries.

  7. 7

    Repeat Step 6 for the second coupling fitting on the other end of the repair section piece.

  8. 8

    Apply PVC cement to the inside of the open end of one coupling fitting on the repair section. Slide the coupling fitting onto either end of the plumbing pipe and give the section a slight twist to set the piece in place. You should feel the cemented coupling immediately fix in place to confirm that the cement has set.

  9. 9

    Apply PVC cement to the open end of the other coupling fitting and slide the plumbing line into the coupling. You will have to bend the ends slightly to align them and slide the pipe into the coupling.

  10. 10

    Restore water flow to the repaired plumbing line.

Tips and warnings

  • To insure proper PVC pipe and fitting match, take the section of pipe cut out for repair with you to the plumbing supply or home improvement centre.
  • If the damage to the PVC plumbing line was caused by freezing, installation of common pipe insulation can help protect the PVC pipe from a repeat of the damage.
  • PVC pipe is measured by the inside diameter and wall thickness. All standard diameters are available in both Schedule 40, which is white and has a thinner wall, and Schedule 80, which is grey with thicker walls intended for buried lines. There also is a variation called CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) designed for water temperatures up to 82.2 degrees C. The piping type will be stamped on the exterior and must be repaired with material of the same size and type.

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