Repair Tap Water Lines

Repair Tap Water lines

Knowing how to repair or tap into existing water lines, copper, CPVX, PEX and galvanized is require if you are going to do your own plumbing.

Before you repair or tap into any water line, you have to remove the pressure from that line by turning off the main water valve to the house and draining out as much in line water as possible. Drain the water out by opening a valve below the line you are cutting.

It is also a good idea to turn the water heater off as well. If the water heater is above the line you are cutting, turn the water heater cut off valve too, so it can’t siphon backward and down unto the section of pipe you are working on.

Fixing copper pipe

If you want to stick with copper fittings when repairing or tapping into copper pipe, you will have to completely drain the system so you can sweat on new fittings. It all comes down to a question of whether you want to do it the hard way or the easy way.

The hard way relies on the old tried and true method of working with copper pipe, vut it, clean it, flux it and solder it. This method is dangerous, a trade skill is required, zero water can be in the pipe, it takes several minutes and sometimes the solder doesn’t sweat properly, especially when you are working in an awkward location.

Thanks to the advent of push on fittings, however, the whole process of installing fittings takes seconds, there can be no residual water in the pipe line and no trade is required.

Fixing CPVC pipe

With CPVC, if you want to make a glue on repair, you will have to completely drain the system and wait several hours for the glue to dry before you repressurize the system. This is the standard fix. It’s the cheapest and takes no special tools.

Using push on fittings is easier but a bit more expensive. This is the way to go, however, because the time savings will outweigh your material costs. Another advantage is that you can remove push on fittings if you want to drain the line in the future.

Fixing PEX pipe

For PEX, if you want to cut into and cap a PEX line using PEX crimp on fittings, you do not have to completely drain the line after it has been depressurized. You can crimp a cap onto the line with residual water in the pipe. Using push on fittings, however, does not require special tools and you can have residual water in the lines. Even a small amount of water dripping out of the pipe won’t interfere with the installation of a push on fitting.

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