Learning how to repair copper pipe leaks is important.
Especially if you can’t get a plumber to your house and have no other option but to do it yourself.
This tutorial is going to show how to repair copper pipe leaks using SharkBite fittings.
Even if you’re a complete beginner you’ll be able to do this project.
Let’s dive in!
Repair #1: Copper Pinhole Leaks
Copper pinhole leaks are small but create a big mess. The first indication of this type of leak is drywall or ceiling tiles turning brown.
Fortunately, pinhole leaks are very easy to repair.
The first step is to find the leak and mark its location.
Then shut off the water to the home and drain the pipes at the lowest point, e.g. the laundry room.
Cut the copper pipe at the pinhole leak. An AutoCut tool makes this fast and easy.
Deburring both copper pipe edges is crucial. Otherwise, any sharp edges on the pipe could cut the SharkBite O-ring and cause a leak.
Mark the insertion depth with the SharkBite Depth Gauge and push a SharkBite coupling onto both sides of the cut copper pipe.
That’s how you fix a copper pinhole leak in 5 minutes!
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Repair #2: Corroded Copper Pipes (Coupling Method)
Over time copper pipes can start to corrode. If you spot green sections of copper pipe, repair them immediately before they turn into bigger problems.
SharkBites are great for long sections of copper pipe because they don’t require soldering.
That means it doesn’t matter if the pipe cut is relatively close to things like electrical lines, ventilation ducts, and wood framing.
Simply cut out the section of damaged copper pipe and prep the copper pipes as mentioned above. Then slide two SharkBite couplings over the copper pipes.
Measure the distance between the ends of each coupling. And add 2 inches to that measurement. This installation is super easy if there’s some movement in the copper pipe; if there isn’t movement, we have another solution.
Finally, install the new section of copper pipe to the couplings.
Repair #3: Corroded Copper Pipes (Slip Coupling Method)
SharkBite made a solution for copper pipe repairs for when there’s no movement. The use of a Slip Coupling fitting makes this project much easier.
The repair is similar to the one done with two couplings; but, replace one coupling with a Slip Coupling and push it as far as it will go onto the pipe.
Then measure the distance between the Slip Coupling and standard coupling. Again, add 2 inches to this measurement and cut a piece of copper pipe to size.
Install the new copper pipe into the standard coupling and then slide the Slip Coupling onto the other end of the pipe. SharkBite disconnect tongs can be used to engage the release collar, and that in turn will allow the Slip Coupling to move.
Frankly, all homeowners should have at least 1 or 2 Slip Couplings and 2 to 3 standard couplings on hand in case of an emergency pipe repair.
Slip Couplings can be used with Copper and CPVC but not PEX.
However, because PEX is so flexible it likely can be used with two standard couplings even if there’s no movement in copper pipes.
In fact, Repair #4 in our video tutorial shows how to use PEX with SharkBites to repair copper pipe leaks – it’s super fast and easy, even for beginner DIYers
Here’s the deal,
When connecting a SharkBite Universal fitting to a copper piping system, install a copper jumper cable to ensure proper grounding.
SharkBite Universal fittings are not an electrically continuous fitting.
SharkBite fittings are great for quick plumbing repairs. Plus, SharkBite fittings are IAPMO tested and approved for behind-the-wall and underground applications. That said, check your local plumbing code before doing anything.
Speaking of code, SharkBite fittings comply with the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), National Plumbing Code of Canada and the International Plumbing Code (IPC).
Hopefully this quick tutorial helps you with any unexpected plumbing leaks.
Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll do our best help.
Hope you have an awesome day!