Plastic pipe is a popular choice for both plumbers and homeowners because it is an easy material to assemble and configure. Plastic pipe uses include drainage, hot and cold-water applications and heating and air conditioning systems. Plastic pipes are durable, flexible and resistant to corrosion, which makes using them a good choice in the home. Plastic pipes incur damage from accidents, improper installation or a freeze-thaw pattern. If water is in a rigid plastic pipe and the tempperatures drop below freezing the water inside the pipe will freeze. As the water freezes it expands. With no where to go the ice will create enough pressure to split or crack the plastic pipe. Damage is repairable making whole pipe replacement unnecessary. This holds true for various types of plastic piping with indoor uses, outdoor uses, drainage pipe, both flexible and rigid. The repair methods vary depending the type of pipe you have.
Rigid Pipe - Solvent Welding
Turn off the main water supply valve and open faucets to drain water from the pipes.
Use a hacksaw to cut on each side of the damaged section of pipe.
Use a file to smooth jagged edges of both sides of the pipes.
Use a sanding cloth to sand 1 inch around the outside of the piping and the inside of a plastic pipe coupling removing all dirt and debris.
Bring the cut out section with you to the store to find the appropriate size plastic pipe coupling.
Apply a coat of plastic pipe cement to the outside of the existing pipe and the inside of the pipe coupling. If the piping is made of PVC, apply primer made specifically for PVC to the inside of the coupling and the outside of the existing pipe before applying specialized PVC cement.
Place the coupling in between the ends of the cut plastic piping to join the sections together. Work quickly, before the cement has a chance to dry in order to achieve a good bond.
Wipe away excess plastic piping cement with a damp rag.
Allow the cement to dry, generally 10 to 15 minutes before turning the main water supply back on.
Flexible Pipe Repair
Turn off the main water supply and place a bucket under the flexible piping to catch the remaining water in the line.
Cut each side of the damaged section with a hacksaw, cutting 2 to 3-inches past the damage on both sides.
Take the removed section of pipe to a plumbing store to match the exact diameter with a barbed pipe joint fitting.
Cut the new piece of flexible pipe to fit the removed section of pipe.
Warm the ends of the existing flexible pipe, new flexible pipe and pipe-fittings with a hand-held hair dryer which will cause the plastic to expand and create a tighter fit.
Place a barbed flexible pipe joint fitting on each end of the existing pipe.
Fit the new piece of flexible piping into each pipefitting.
Place a hose clamp around the fitting and tighten the pipe clamp with a screwdriver. Repeat with the second pipefitting and clamp.
Expect a noisy discharge at water faucets after restoring the water supply due to air in the lines. This will reolve itself in a 2 to 3 minutes.
Work in a well-ventilated area when applying plastic pipe cement.
Wear gloves and safety glasses when working to fix plastic pipe damage.