How to Repair a Broken Hot Water Pipe
A broken hot water pipe leaks water at the point of breakage and cause damage to the walls, the floor, or to the other parts of the home. When you notice a leak in the piping carefully inspect it right away, turn off the water supply to that area, and begin the repair as soon as possible.
Step 1 – Preparations
Determine the length of the pipe that needs to be cut and replaced. If the pipe is made out of copper, steel, or any other metal, prepare a pipe cutter. If the pipe is made out of flexible hot water pipe (PEX tubing), prepare a utility knife or a tubing cutter. Prepare the replacement pipe and corresponding couplers.
Before removing the damaged piece, make sure to turn off the water supply in the area where the pipe is located. If there are any electrical wires found in that location, turn off the power as well to avoid electrocution accidents. The water may cause the electricity to get in contact with other conductors around the area, so be very careful.
Step 2 - Cut the Damaged Pipe
Mark the area of the pipe to be cut using a crayon or any other marker. Before cutting, place a bucket under it to catch water. Position the cutter around the mark and rotate it a couple of times until the pipe is cut off. When using a different type of cutter, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the pipe is made out of flexible tubing, use a utility knife or a tubing cutter.
Step 3 – Prepare the Replacement
Cut a replacement pipe ¼-inch shorter than the original. The discrepancy will be used to provide space for the couplers when it is fitted in between the existing pipes and the new pipe. If the pipe is made of other metals, fit the couplers to help determine the needed length of the pipe. If the pipe is made of flexible tubing, it should be at least 1 to 2 inches longer. If the manufacturer recommends a different length, follow that recommendation. Flexible tubing usually fits into ¾-inch copper pipes.
Step 4 – Connect the Pipes
De-burr the ends of the pipe after cutting. Dry fit it along with the couplers. For copper pipes, make sure to spread the flux evenly onto the surfaces of the joints. Fit the pipe and the couplers and be sure each joint is fully sealed. Sweat the joints using the torch and apply the solder around it after the flux starts to split. Let the solder seep into the joints and allow it to cool down.
For other metal pipes, the ends may require threading before the insertion of the connectors. Seal the threads with pipe sealant before tightening the joint. For flexible pipe, simply fit the tubing into the existing pipes and secure the joints using crimping tools.