How Hard Can It Be to Fix Those Leaks?

How Hard Can It Be to Fix Those Leaks?

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Water line repair is sometimes best left up to professionals, but many times the average person can accomplish some basic plumbing with common tools, persistence and the knowledge available on the internet and at the hardware store. In most contemporary homes, much of the water piping is PVC, which is a type of plastic that has its most common use as liquid piping. Most people would recognize its bright white color and rigid nature. This is the same material that most bank credit or ATM cards are made of. For the waterline into a home, it might be ABS.

Water line repair in older buildings can be more difficult. Before the widespread use of PVC, copper was the primary building material used for piping. This transition was made for a number of reasons:

  • Lower cost –

    Copper piping is often raided from abandoned buildings in urban areas for profit.

  • Resistant to corrosion –

    Unlike copper, there is zero scale build-up and no water or soil conditions capable of breaking down the integrity of the pipe.

  • Green –

    Manufacturing is far cheaper, and during actual transfer of water, they provide better insulation and limit condensation.

  • Quiet –

    There is no case of “water hammer” – the noise caused in copper pipe systems when a facet is quickly shut off, creating a reverberation through everything connected to it.

Water line repair for those dealing with copper pipes is best dealt with by professionals. Like PVC, these pipes are very rigid, but the method for connecting the pieces involves welding. However, this provides the opportunity to consider replacing the problematic section of piping with PVC for the long-term benefits of corrosion resistance, improved insulation, and a reduction of noise.

Water line repair on PVC can be as easy as tightening a joint or adhering some added solvent cement – this is the liquid “glue” explicitly designed to use between PVC piping. These glues are distinguished by their viscosity (thickness), where larger pipes require a thicker solution, and smaller pipes require a thinner solution. These variations correspond to colors to help people quickly know what is what.

If the water line issue is stemming from problems outside of the structure, fixing the problem will become much more complicated. Water lines are buried underground, and often have city governance applied to them to prevent tampering or faulty repairs.

Water line repair to the source line for a building might involve ABS. This plastic piping has every benefit of PVC but improves upon it in every way. The reason it is not as widely used is that the production price is roughly twice that of PVC. For use outside the home, it is especially beneficial because it has much higher resistance to extreme cold and severe shocks. There is specific solvent cement for adhering these two plastics together.

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