How to Repair a Copper Supply Line Pipe

Step-by-Step Instructions on Repairing a Copper Supply Line

By Mark J. Donovan

Copper supply line pipes can occasionally spring a leak, particularly during winter months when pipes are susceptible to freezing. Due to the fact that supply line pipes are under pressure (around 50 psi) when they spring a leak they typically spray water versus simply drip water.

To repair a copper supply line pipe, first turn off water immediately to the affected area.

After cutting the flow of water to the supply line pipe, you can begin the actual process of repairing the copper supply line pipe.

Tools Required

Tools required to repair a copper supply line pipe include a propane torch, a copper tube pipe cutter or hacksaw, a file, rag, sandpaper, steel wool, safety glasses, small brush, and a small half round file.

Materials Required

Materials required for repairing a copper supply line pipe include a length of copper tubing of equal diameter to the existing piping, coupler fittings, flux and some lead free solder.

Repairing Copper Supply Line Pipe

The first step in repairing a copper supply line pipe is to cut out the damaged section of pipe using either the copper tube pipe cutter or hacksaw. Cut a couple of inches to either side of the cracked pipe area.

How to repair a copper supply pipe.

Make sure to drain any residual water in each side of the supply line pipe as it will be very difficult to solder in (sweat in) the new section of replacement copper pipe otherwise.

Next, clean up the cut ends of the supply line pipe using the file. You want to remove any filing burrs on the copper supply line pipes. Then use your sandpaper, steel wool and rag to polish and clean both ends of the cut supply line.

Cut a length of copper pipe that is exactly the same length of the gap that was removed in the supply line, and again polish and thoroughly clean both ends of it using sandpaper, steel wool and a rag.

With all copper pipe ends cleaned apply flux to each end using the small brush.

Next insert the coupler fittings into position over the ends of the new section of copper pipe. Then slide the other ends of the coupler fittings over the cut ends of the supply line pipe.

Finally, using the propane torch and solder, solder (sweat) the coupler fittings and new pipe section into place.

Note that when soldering copper supply line pipes it is important to use lead free solder. When soldering copper joints heat the surface of the copper joint with the propane torch first. Then touch the end of the solder around the joint seam. If the joint is hot enough the solder should flow freely around the joint. After a bead of solder has been applied to the joint quickly wipe the joint down with a damp clean cloth. Make sure not to burn yourself in the process and always wear eye protection.

With the copper supply line pipe repaired, turn water back onto the supply line and check for any leaks. With any luck you have leak free joints and your plumbing system is back in business.

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