How to Use PVC Pipe Repair Epoxy

Old, blue PVC pipe with rust stains and damage on the surface.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-30
What You'll Need
Paper towel
Permanent marker
Tack cloth
Mixing pan
Epoxy putty

Despite how durable the material is, PVC can crack and split with enough wear and tear. Luckily, epoxy putty is an easy way to fix a damaged pipe. It comes in two parts, stored separately, with both having a clay-like consistency. Mixing them together produces an exothermic reaction which readies the putty for use, and then the substance hardens at room temperature and fills spaces and gaps with adhesive. Compared to other types of repair materials, this will most reliably get the best result when mending damaged PVC. Just make sure you always follow the right procedure by reviewing the information below.

Step 1 - Find the Leaks

Since epoxy hardens in minutes, you should first prepare the PVC pipes that need repairs before mixing the adhesive components together. Map out the exact leaking spots. If it is a slow leak that's hard to find, get a paper towel and wrap it around the area where you suspect the crack or hole is. Take it off after a while and inspect it for wet spots. Repeat this procedure until you find all the leaking points. As you find each spot, mark it with a permanent marker so you do not lose track of it.

Step 2 - Relieve Pipe Pressure

To release the water pressure from the pipes, turn off the water supply at the main. Then, drain what remains in the system by turning on all the faucets in your house until they run dry.

Step 3 - Rough the Surface

PVC pipe has a smooth surface that can make adherence difficult, so you'll need to rough up the exterior of the pipe with a medium-grit sandpaper to give the putty a proper hold. Once you're finished sanding, clean the area of any dust with a clean, dry tack cloth.

Step 4 - Mix the Epoxy

Open the epoxy containers and put the required amount from each component in a mixing pan. If you do not have one, any clean and smooth surface will do, but make sure that you clean it thoroughly afterward as dried epoxy is very hard to remove. Knead the mixture with your fingers (wearing gloves to protect your skin) until it is mixed thoroughly. Each epoxy component is colored differently from the other, so you can tell the putty is ready for use when you see only one solid color.

Step 5 - Apply the Epoxy

Wrap the finished putty around your marked areas on the pipes. Press it on and extend it by a minimum of an inch on both sides of damage. If the leak happens to be in a fitting, cover the entire fitting with the putty instead.

Step 6 - Mix the Right Amount

Make sure that you only mix what putty you can use up in three minutes. This is essential since the putty will harden within three minutes, no matter what. If you think the whole job will take you longer than this, then do it one section at a time. Divide the entire task beforehand according to what you think you can do within the required time and mix the putty as you get to each area.

Step 7 - Let the Epoxy Cure

Although the epoxy putty will cure in around 10 minutes, it will take about an hour to set up completely. Therefore, you should wait at least this long before turning the water supply back on.

Step 8 - Check for Leaks

Use the paper towel test one more time over your repairs to make sure that the leaks are completely taken care of. Epoxy putty will give you a lasting repair, but it can still be a good idea to perform regular checks on it for a short while afterward to be sure you're finished.