Repair a Burst Water Pipe with a Repair Coupling Repair a Burst Water Pipe with a Repair Coupling

What You'll Need
Pipe cutter
Flare tool
Wrenches
Plumbers tape
Tape measure
Metal file
Sandpaper
Steel wool
Joiner pipe (if you need added pipe length)
2 to 4 Couplings with olives

Fixing a burst water pipe is one of the easiest things to do, even easier than running a new pipe, as they have made fittings to take the hard work out of welding and patching. Now you can simply cut out the burst section and couple the two pieces together or join them with a cross section, which could even include a splitter for other lines if you wanted. The concept is that the two ends have the hardware placed on them and then flare the ends for the olive to rest on, then simply screw the two ends together with a coupling. An olive is the strange looking copper ring that sits on the inside that locks the ends together, allowing the water pressure to pass through instead of bursting out the sides under pressure.

Step 1 - Turn off the Water Mainline

The first thing you will do is to make sure that all water is shut off to your burst water pipe, so that you can work without endangering yourself or others. Second you will want to dry the work area well before you start in on the project to prevent your hands and tools from slipping in the process.

Step 2 - Cut out the Burst Section with a Pipe Cutter

First use your pipe cutter to cut out the burst water pipe section, and be sure not to cut too much from the section—just enough so that the break is no longer going to be involved. Once you have done this, clean the cut ends to a shine with the file and the steel wool, and try to avoid getting the shavings into the mainline. Clean them up to a good shine, and you will be ready for the next step. It only takes a tiny grain of dirt or residue to ruin what would otherwise be a good seal.

Step 3 - Attach the Threaded Nuts and Flare the Ends

Once the burst water pipe has been cut out and cleaned, you will then slide your nuts and washers over the ends of the pipe, with the threaded end facing toward your break. Take your flare tool and flare the end of the pipe so that it will fit snugly into the securing nut and washer you have attached to it, and the coupling should create a perfect seal once the olive is in place and is tightened up.

Step 4 - Attach the Coupling or Splice

If you don't have extra pipe to pull the two ends together once you have flared the ends of your burst water pipe, you may have to also build a connector or splice with an extra piece of piping. To do this, simply measure the distance you need to make up on both ends and cut and flare a pipe to fit into the gap. If you don't have this issue, you can simply use the plumbers tape on the threaded ends and tighten the coupling into place. Be sure to check for leaks with low water pressure before turning it on at full Psi to avoid bursting the pipe again.

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