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Thread: Repairing a leaky joint in ABS

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mercenary's Avatar
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    Default Repairing a leaky joint in ABS

    Hi folks.

    I have a leak in a ABS drain pipe right at a joint that was installed improperly. It looks as though the previous owner did some repairs but didn't do them properly. I want to cut the joint out and install a new one. Is this just a straight forward repair? The ABS drain pipe is for our toilet so I really want to get it done right the first time.

    With both ends of the pipe fixed....how do I remove the bad joint and repair the line?

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    A picture of the piping would be helpful. Depending on what is there, I would probably be cutting a section out and replacing it. The new section can be spliced in using ABS couplers, banded couplers, or both.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Cutting it out and replacing from a convenient point, rejoining the bits with either repair couplings ( a coupling without a center stop that gets glued in place to rejoin the pipe) or banded couplings works well. But, depending on what you are going to be fixing, they do make special drill bits that can ream the pipe out of an existing coupling - RamBit is one brand. For a one-time use, you may just want to cut things out and replace, though.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member mercenary's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I can't post pics right now but its in the pipe that runs from beneath our toilet into the sewer system (I assume). The joint that is leaking is smack dab right in the middle of the pipe. It looks to me like the previous owner tried to install another line, changed his mind, and then re-attached the pipe back together with this weird coupling thing. I can take pics of it but it won't be for a couple of days.

    The whole pipe is about 10 feet or so long and the joint is right in the middle. Should I cut out a 2 foot section or so and just put a piece of ABS back in? Once it's fixed, it has to go in behind a gyp rock wall and some paneling so I really need to get this repair right.....

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There is an art to using repair couplings, since when both ends are fixed, you have to slide it all the way on one pipe at each end, then put it in place, then slide it back, getting it centered on the joint on each end before the cement sets enough to make it impossible to move it!

    Get some banded couplings (you'll need two), cut that section out with the joint on it so that you have a piece long enough to fully engage both of the new couplings you need to install. FIrst, loosen the clamps enough so you can slide the banded reinforcement sleeve off, slide that on the pipe. THen, put half of the rubber sleeve on the pipe, then fold the other half back onto itself. Do that for both ends. WHen you then put the replacement section in there to put things back together, you fold the rubber sleeve onto the other pipe, slide the metal reinforcement sleeve back centered over it, then tighten up the clamps. The banded reinforcement holds the two pipe ends aligned, and there's a rubber ridge in the sleeve that centers it and provides a stop so you know you've got it fully on. You only need enough slop in the cut to account for the thickness of the rubber stop at each end...IOW, the new piece of pipe should be just a little shorter than the opening. It works best if you get your cuts nice and square, otherwise, you need a bit more slop to get it all to fit together. A pro might then use a torque screwdriver or nut driver to tighten the things up. Dont' remember the recommended torque, but I think it's around 15#...you should check this if you use those connectors.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Please notice the term "banded coupling". You might be tempted to buy the neoprene sleeve with a hose clamp on each end. While this coupling is OK for buried joints only. The banded couplers have a steel clamp over the entire sleeve so the pipe will have ridged support.

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    DIY Junior Member mercenary's Avatar
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    Ok. I think I've seen the type of coupling you guys are talking about. Is that kind of coupling Ok as a permanent repair? I thought you only used those types of couplings for joining two pipes of dis-similar material together?

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    DIY Senior Member jim mills's Avatar
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    A "shielded" coupling is what you want, and yes, they are good for permanent repairs.
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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercenary View Post
    Ok. I think I've seen the type of coupling you guys are talking about. Is that kind of coupling Ok as a permanent repair? I thought you only used those types of couplings for joining two pipes of dis-similar material together?
    You will find the fittings shown above harder to work with than a non shield fitting. The ones above have a barb in the middle designed to keep cast iron pipe from touching each other.

    A non shield no-hub is wider and slides back and forth easier. Approved for permeant use as long as it is not a multi family housing home or commercial space. Then the shield and cast iron pipe is required.

    JW


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    Torque to 60 "inch pounds"

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