PVC joints are permanently fused together. Unfortunately, once there’s a leak, you can no longer uncouple them. If you don’t intend to replace the PVC pipes, there are a number of ways to fix such leaks. Here are some emergency measures that experts recommend.
Note that these repairs are only temporary and not meant for pressurized plumbing. One person tried one of these temporary fixes to a tankless water heater system in Utah. Unfortunately, the repair was unsuccessful and he had to get a professional plumber instead.
Use Rubber or Silicone Tape
It’s sticky, which is why many favor using rubber or silicone tape for leaking PVC joints. Make sure to wrap it tightly and extend it beyond the leaking part before cutting it. In tight spots, however, you may have difficulty using it.
Consider Using Epoxy
Dry the leaking PVC joints before applying the epoxy. You should also take note that epoxies are either the putty or liquid type. Both will need a curing time of at least half an hour, but an hour or more is better. For leaks coming out from cracks, liquid epoxy is more suited since you can stick the syringe inside.
Try the Fiberglass Wrap
Fiberglass cloth contains a special kind of resin that starts to harden upon contact with water. You have around 10 to 15 minutes to wrap the wet fiberglass cloth before it completely hardens. To make sure that the leak is secured, cut the cloth at least two inches beyond each side of the crack.
Slow Down Leaks with Rubber and Hose Clamps
If it’s an emergency, you can stop or slow down the leak using some rubber and hose clamps. If possible, tie the rubber around the leaking part. Afterward, place a hose clamp at each end of the rubber then tighten it. This temporary fix can at least give you the time to devise a more permanent solution or call in the pros. This emergency repair will only work on straight pipes and is not recommended for pipe joints or on edges.
It’s almost impossible to uncouple PVC joints since they’re usually fused together. Fortunately, you can make some temporary repairs to prevent the leaks from getting worse. At some point, you may need to replace entire sections of the leaky PVC joints or better still, call in professional plumbers to get things done.