How to Repair Cracked Pipes

Get ready for that moment when your water pipes crack or break because this can happen at any time. Prevent water damage, keep your water running, and allow time to arrange for a professional plumber, by following the next five steps on how to fix cracked pipes temporarily.

Materials you will need:

  • Electrical or duct tape or a rubber patch, and hose clamps, or
  • SharkBite Slip Coupling for copper or CPVC pipes

Steps to take to repair your cracked pipes:

  1. Shut off the water supply
  2. First, you need to prevent any water damage. So, search for the shut-off valve and shut it down. Then, make sure you relieve any pressure on the pipe, by turning on a faucet at the lowest point from the pipe and draining any remaining water.

  3. Assess the damage
  4. Depending on the type of pipe crack that forms, you may fix it on your own or it’s recommended to call the professionals. A hole or a crack that is small in size can be fixed easily. When you deal with larger holes, or pipes that cracked all the way down between joints, better ask a professional plumber to help you repair or replace the pipe.

  5. Clean off the damaged area
  6. If you deal with small cracks or holes, start by cleaning the cracked pipe area and wipe it dry. If you are planning to use SharkBite Slip Coupling or other similar repair kits, then you also need to cut out, at a 90-degree angle, the section of the broken pipe completely clear of the crack and then deburr the pipe for reducing the risk of damaging the O-ring of the coupling.

  7. Seal the crack
  8. For sealing the crack you have several options:

    • For pinholes, you may use electrical or duct tape. Wrap it around the pipe a few times, and then use hose clamps at both ends of the tape, to keep it tight. Instead of tape, you may also use a patch of rubber (from an old garden hose, or old bicycle inner tube). However, do not expect this to be a solution for the long-term! So, plan to call in the plumbers in a couple of days!
    • Apply a sealant that is designed specifically for the material of the pipe – plastic, PVC, metal, etc. Use an applicator tube to put the sealant over the crack, by following strictly the manufacturer’s directions. When you are finished, apply some little pressure on the sealant in order to adhere properly.
    • Use a repair kit, such as SharkBite Slip Coupling, which is mainly designed for copper or CVPC pipes. Once you cut the damaged section of the pipe, as described in step 3., make sure there is at least one inch of pipe available for both ends of the coupling. Slide one end of the pipe into the “slip end” of the coupling, and then slide the other end of the coupling over the adjoining pipe.

  9. Check the connection
  10. Once the crack is sealed, turn on the water and check if the connection works. If the fix was done properly, then there should be no leaks.

Now, you are ready to fix any small-sized cracks or holes in your pipes. However, call in the professionals when damages are more serious.

For any emergency you have, keep in mind that we are San Diego’s only true 24-hour emergency plumber! Call us: (858) 203-0930.