How to Repair Copper Pipe with a Slip Coupling
At some point in time you will need to repair a copper pipe with a slip coupling. This type of repair is easily done with some very basic plumbing and soldering. The slip coupling acts as a sort of copper band aid that goes over the broken part of the pipe and stop a leak. This is a good way to save money by not having to replace the entire piece of pipe. If you have been experiencing a little bit of a leak in your copper piping, here is a step by step process to fixing it with a slip coupling.
Step 1 - Buy Slip Coupling
There are 2 basic types of couplings that you can use to fix a leak in a copper pipe. There is the standard coupling which has a ridge in the center of it. The slip coupling does not have a ridge so it can move freely wherever you need it. Purchase the slip coupling from your home hardware center.
Step 2 - Shut Off Water
Depending on where the leak in the copper pipe is located will determine where you shut the water off. You may have to shut off the entire system if it is in a location where you can not get to a shut off valve. Once you have the water turned off you will need to turn on some faucets so that you can drain the lines.
Step 3 - Cut Pipe
Once you have the water drained out of the pipes you can cut the pipe at the point where the leak is. Use a hacksaw and cut through the copper pipe. Make sure you have a sharp blade on the hacksaw and use gloves and eye protection.
Step 4 - Drain and Clean
After you have cut through the pipe make sure that all of the excess water is drained from that position and there is no standing water there. Use some pipe cleaner and rub it around both ends of the pipe. Clean both the inside and the outside of the pipe.
Step 5 - Sand Pipe Ends
Using some plumber's sandpaper, scuff up the ends of the 2 pieces of copper pipe and the slip coupling. This will give the solder a place to attach itself to and form a leak proof bond. Apply pipe flux to both the copper pipes and the coupling.
Step 6 - Slide Coupling into Position
Spread apart the two sides of the copper pipe and place the slip coupling onto one end. Slide the other copper pipe into the opposite end of the coupling and try to center the 2 pipes as much as you can.
Step 7 - Solder Coupling into Place
Holding your torch up near the point where the coupling and pipe are fitted together, warm up the pipe. Hold your solder up to the point where you had the torch and touch the solder to the intersection of coupling and pipe. It should instantly melt and wrap around the pipe sealing it. If not, then heat the copper a little more. Do this to both ends of the coupling.
Step 8 - Turn on Water
Once the soldering is complete you can turn the water on and check for any leaks.