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Thread: Repair Fitting for ABS Pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Member BS's Avatar
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    Default Repair Fitting for ABS Pipe

    I just installed a base for a replacement shower and connected the drain to the existing ABS pipe stub coming up from the trap with a cemented coupling. There's a tiny leak from the bottom of this coupling. There's precious little room available on the stub for cutting out the coupling and cementing-in a new one.

    Is it effective to cement a curved piece of pipe to the stub and bottom edge of the coupling in an effort to plug the leak? I would do this by cutting a ring, say 3/8" wide, from the end of a pipe, cutting the ring in half, and cementing one of the semi-circles to the stub and bottom edge of the coupling.

    Are there repair fittings, such as a fitting that would clamp over the leaking coupling?

    - Bernie

    - Bernie

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default leak

    You are trying to cure the symptom rather than the fact that you have a bad joint. Take the joint apart, (there is more than one way to do it), and redo the connection properly. A small leak at the surface almost always indicates a big leak inside the joint.

  3. #3

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    There are various epoxies and such that claim to fix such leaks.

    Look around at HD, etc...

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    There's only one right way to fix this. HJ as given you sound, professional advise. If you don't feel capable of doing the job or don't want to invest in the tools to do it, this might be a good time to throw in the DIY towel and spend the $$ for a professional. A homemade patch job would always be in the back of my mind as a potential disaster waiting to happen.

  5. #5
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Default

    easiest would be to remove the coupling and put a new one in...
    You can use a hacksaw blade to cut the coupling just to the surface of the pipe and peel it off - cut it in a few places...
    a leak in plastic piping usually means you did not give the joint the recomended twist after cementing...(assuming you used enough glue and your glue is good....)

  6. #6
    DIY Member BS's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies. I didn't think cemented joints could be taken apart, but HJ says there's more than one way to do it. And Markts30's suggestion of cutting the coupling must be one of these ways. What are the others?

    Back to Markts30's suggestion: Once I remove the coupling, what will I have to do to remove the old cement from the pipe and prepare it for another coupling?

    - Bernie

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    With PVC, the cement actually melts the top layer, welding the things together; but, this junction is weaker than the original fitting or pipe, so if you cut through it, it will peel off. It can be a pain, but it can be done. You need to smooth it off enough so that when you add new cement, you can get the new fitting or pipe to fit in. I'm not sure exactly how abs works...I think it is similar.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BS
    Once I remove the coupling, what will I have to do to remove the old cement from the pipe and prepare it for another coupling?
    I do that with a rag that is wet with cleaner, or even with straight acetone (which is a substance in the cleaner). But, do not do that for very long or with a lot of pressure as that *could* make the pipe undersize.

  9. #9

    Default

    A chemical-free approach to smoothing out the surface is to use a Dremel with sander attachment. But like the other approaches, try not to remove too much material.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If when you're done the fitting wobbles when attached, you've taken too much off! Everything in moderation.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11

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    To avoid wobbling, use a very liberal amount of cement. It will fill any gaps.

  12. #12
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Default

    I have never had a problem with peeled pipe and fittings as far as having to remove "residue" as long as the original fitting is off the pipe (file off any pieces of the original fitting you cannot remove -ie shards etc), just put the solvent on and glue on your new fitting - use liberal amounts on the pipe and a normal amount on the fitting - remember to give it a twist when gluing it and hold it in place for about twice as long as usual - they will tend to push back off...
    Removing the old is the hard part - not gluing the new...LOL

    The worst I had to do was peel a 12" Sch40 PVC 90 off Sch40 PVC pipe on a lift 25' in the air - reminded me to always remember to double check pipe lengths before making up joints...LOL
    Last edited by markts30; 07-17-2007 at 03:51 PM.

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