Many homes used to rely on galvanized steel piping, but over time copper became a lot more prevalent for many reasons. This is because galvanized steel was susceptible to corrosion, and although copper piping will also experience routine wear and tear, the material is very easy to repair or replace. Copper is one of the most commonly used materials for residential plumbing, so at some point, you will more than likely need to repair a leak in your copper pipes.
Epoxy putty is one of the easiest ways to repair a leak in your plumbing. The epoxy material is comprised of two components: the resin and hardener. They both combine to form a mixture that you can use to plug up any holes in your copper pipes. The material will quickly harden and it takes less than an hour to reseal your copper piping.
Pipe repair tape is also a simple solution to a leaky copper pipe. The most common type of tape that you will find on the market are the ones that self-fuse. Made of various polymers and silicone, self-fusing tape seals off your copper pipe by forming a tight-fitting rubber band around it. Before applying the tape, you want to anchor it next to the affected area. Then, you want to stretch the tape to its fullest length and begin wrapping it around the copper piping.
Repair tape does, however, have its limitations. You can’t use it one any pipe in your home. Also, if your copper pipes are located in an area that’s hard to reach, then you may have trouble achieving the required stretch.
Soldering is a method of repair that involves removing the compromised area of your copper piping and replacing it. Soldering requires a lot more skill and diligence to pull off than the other two methods that we discussed above, but it provides a more permanent and reliable solution.
Before you begin to solder your copper pipe, you will need to shut off your water main and then allow the water inside of your pipe to drain. Any remaining water you will need to wipe up so that your copper pipe is nice and dry before you begin to solder it.
Temporary Solutions vs Long-Lasting Solutions
There are a few things you should take into account before you repair a leaky copper pipe. You need to consider the severity of the leak as well as your budgetary needs. Pinhole leaks are fairly easy to repair, so it all comes down to how committed you are to eliminating the issue.
Temporary solutions include the epoxy putty and repair tape that tightens around your copper pipe. What most people do is they apply these repair methods as a quick fix so that they have more time to assemble the tools and materials that are necessary for a more permanent solution.
Long-term solutions will cost you more money and they will take more time and effort to complete. However, the leak will go away for good. Soldering and compression fitting are your optimal options for achieving long-lasting results, and they both require special tools and prior plumbing experience to pull off.
This is what the two processes entail:
- Using a hacksaw to cut and remove the compromised area of the copper pipe
- Inserting a compression fitting, which ensures that you can effectively rejoin the two parts of the pipe
- With soldering, you will need to fit a new pipe fitting into place and solder it together.
Copper piping has an average lifespan of roughly 50 years before you will need to replace it. Although copper piping leaks are somewhat common, they’re usually small and you can quickly easily fix them.
Have any questions? You can always call us. One of our contractors can help guide you through the repair process.