Reply To: Cracked copper pipe

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    I assume you mean that there is a split in a copper supply pipe to a spigot, and that it is a residential application. So the pipe is 1/2″ or 3/4″. Such splits are usually caused by freezing water.

    There are several ways to fix the pipe, but you need to correct any problem, such as freezing, that caused the pipe to split in the first place.

    To fix the split, the easiest solution is to cut out the split section of pipe and solder in a new section using a section of copper pipe and two copper couplings. You could also fix the split, if the pipe is not much disrupted, by sanding the surface and applying flux and filling the split with solder. I’ve done this a few times with pipes punctured by nails. It works but is “iffy” unless you know what you are doing. Your plumbing supplier might also have some special “clamps” that are sized to fit over split pipes (they consist of a rubber patch that goes over the pipe and is tightened by bolts). They also have some repair fittings that require you to cut out the leaky section of pipe (<6") and then connect to the ends of the pipe with compression fittings.

    The best repair, however, is to remove the damaged section of pipe and sweat in a new piece with copper couplings.


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