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Thread: advice on sealing/plugging holes in PVC pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member GatorKenD's Avatar
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    Default advice on sealing/plugging holes in PVC pipe

    This is pretty random, but I'm thinking my best advice on working with PVC pipe will be in this forum. I bought a house with flat roof that has roof drains that feed 3" PVC pipes that run down through interior walls in the house into the slab and then out into the yard. I've had a leak problem at one of these that I assumed was a roofing problem until I took the wall down this evening and found that someone had "missed the stud" while installing cedar closet liner planks and had screwed into this drain pipe nine times with ~#8 wood screws. Over time, they rusted and started to leak.

    Any suggestions on plugging these. I could repeat the "error" and put small screws in, this time Stainless (or alumimum?) with silicone, but I don't want to do anything that won't go the distance and would require tearing into the wall again. It obviously hasn't been a problem even after all these years, but I also don't like the idea of the screws being inside the pipe where leaves or other debris could hang up on them. Will epoxy adhere to PVC? Any other ideas?

    Thanks,
    Ken

  2. #2
    DIY Member arfeller's Avatar
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    Do you have room to cut the pipe and glue in a coupling? That would be a lot of couplings unless you could cut the top and bottom and replace the pipe with two couplings.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You could remove the damaged pipe and replace it using banded couplers. There is no permanent seal for holes in PVC.

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Well, cutting out the pipe and replacing is the right answer. But on a drain line, I at least consider alternatives.

    1) let Billy Mays be your friend.

    2) Get some brass or SS sheet metal screws. File or gring down the point, so the screw is only about as long as the wall thickness of the pipe. Silicone.


    If this was a horizontal pipe, I would be more reluctant to choose these admittedly unprofessional approaches.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Get some glued couplings. First cut them in half so you get rid of the stop inside. Then cut each half vertically just past the center point so you have one piece that looks like a "C", and the other which looks like a ")". Put glue on the C and the pipe around a hole. Then "snap" the C over the hole. It will grip the pipe and the glue will make it watertight. DO this for all the holes. If two holes are close together one piece may cover both of them.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member GatorKenD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Get some glued couplings. First cut them in half so you get rid of the stop inside. Then cut each half vertically just past the center point so you have one piece that looks like a "C", and the other which looks like a ")". Put glue on the C and the pipe around a hole. Then "snap" the C over the hole. It will grip the pipe and the glue will make it watertight. DO this for all the holes. If two holes are close together one piece may cover both of them.
    That's why I came looking for help here! I like it. I'm planning on staying in this house for a very long time so I'm not looking for a mickey-mouse fix, but I wasn't too excited about cutting out a large segment of the pipe. From floor to roof, it's 8' and the position of the drilled holes would encompass 6' or 7' of that.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Cutting the pipe out would be the easy part. Getting the new one in is where the difficulty starts.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Couplings come to two varieties: normal (these have a 'stop' in the middle to center each pipe separately), and repair couplings, that don't have the stop. If you can find them, the repair couplings will be easier, since you won't have to try to cut/grind/whatever the stop out so it can fit flat against the pipe.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member GatorKenD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Cutting the pipe out would be the easy part. Getting the new one in is where the difficulty starts.
    Excellent advice AND a stand up act?! I got my money's worth today!

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Just make two cuts, one on either side of the stop. Repair couplings will be almost impossible to find. I have not seen any on the supply house shelves for years.

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