How to Repair a Leaky PVC Joint

Step-by-Step Instructions on Repairing a Leaky PVC Joint

By Mark J. Donovan

Repairing a leaky PVC joint is easy to do, as long as you have access to the leak. With a hacksaw, a replacement PVC joint fitting, a small length of PVC tubing, a couple of PVC coupler joints, and some PVC cleaner and glue, you can quickly repair a leaky PVC joint.

When it comes to plumbing leaks it usually comes down to one of two basic culprits. It is either associated with the supply lines or the drain lines. This is normally easy to confirm.

If the leak stops when the faucet is turned off, then more than likely the problem is associated with the drain lines and most likely at a joint.

PVC drain pipes are commonly used in residential plumbing. As a result, PVC joints and tubing are readily available and inexpensive. PVC is also easy to work with, as unlike copper supply line pipes, it does not require any type of soldering or sweating of joints.

To repair a leaky PVC joint, purchase the same angled PVC joint along with a small length of replacement PVC tubing, and a couple of straight coupling joints. Make sure you purchase the right size diameter consistent with the rest of the PVC drain plumbing.

Next, turn water off to the affected plumbing fixtures.

Assuming you have identified the leaky PVC joint and have made access to it, use your hacksaw to cut out the leaky PVC joint. Cut approximately 2 inches beyond either end of the PVC joint.

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After removing the leaky PVC joint section, clean the edges of the PVC pipe with a file, sandpaper, and/or rag. As your final step in the cleaning process wipe the PVC pipe ends with a PVC cleaning solution.

Next, measure the space between the two cut PVC ends and then cut a couple of small sections of PVC tubing.

Clean all newly cut pieces of PVC tubing and PVC joints with the PVC cleaning solution.

Dry fit the small sections of tubing together with the PVC joint, and connect them to the two ends of the exiting PVC plumbing lines. Use the PVC coupler joints to tie them in to the existing PVC drain pipe. Use a marker to create a line over the pipe ends and the joints for alignment marks.

After you have confirmed that the dry fit PVC joint assembly is of the proper length and angle, disassemble the joint assembly.

Next, working one joint connection at a time, apply glue to the inside edge of the PVC joint and one end section of PVC pipe. After applying the PVC glue to each piece, push them together while aligning the marks. Hold them tight for 10 seconds before letting go.

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Repeat this process on all of the joint sections to make the joint assembly up, again being careful how you position the alignment marks.

Once the PVC joint assembly is glued together, apply glue to the ends of the existing drain pipes, and the inside edges of the straight coupling joints. Then quickly position the new PVC joint assembly into place in between the existing pipe sections and hold for 10 seconds.

Finally, turn water back on to the plumbing fixtures, and test your repaired PVC joint. With any luck, your leaky PVC joint should be history.

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