How to Repair a Leak With ABS Plumbing

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Exterior ABS drain pipe
Exterior ABS drain pipe (Image: Drain image by Hedgehog from Fotolia.com)

Those black ABS pipes that run through your home are responsible for directing waste water and noxious waste fumes away from your home. When a leak occurs it is imperative to immediately repair the leak with new ABS plumbing. The process is relatively simple, especially if you have had any experience installing plastic supply pipes. Basically, you must cut out the damaged section of the ABS pipe and install a new portion. Tricky areas involves leaks around joints and connections to other drain pipes.

Things You'll Need

  • ABS pipes
  • ABS primer and glue
  • ABS couplings and adaptors
  • Pipe Cutters or hacksaw
  • Drip pan
  • Clean rag
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Transition coupling
  • Steel metal jacket and integral clamps
  • Gloves

Removing the Damaged Section

Turn off the water supply to the fixture that drains into the ABS pipe. This prevent water from running down while you are working on the plumbing.

Place a drip pan under the ABS pipe to catch dripping water. Use a clean rag to wipe the surface of the pipe. This helps to make a clean dry surface for solvent bonding.

Cut the damaged pipe with pipe cutters or a hacksaw. Remove the burrs with a utility knife. Discard the damaged section.

Installing New Couplings and Pipe

Apply a layer of ABS glue to the inside of the coupling and the outside of the ABS pipe. Slip the coupling onto the ABS pipe with a gentle twisting motion to spread the glue evenly around the pipe. Repeat this process for the coupling on the other end of the ABS pipe.

Measure the distance between the middle seams of the couplings. Cut a piece of ABS to fit. Remove the burrs.

Coat the ends of the ABS pipe with ABS glue and slip the pipe into the couplings with the same twisting motion. Use a dry rag to remove excess glue from the joint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check with your local building codes since some will not allow ABS pipes to be glued to PVC pipes. If the leak is at the joining coupling between the two types of pipes, you will have to slip the rubber transition coupling over the two pipes and clamp the fitting into place with the steel bracket and clamps.
  • Take a sample of the pipes you are working with and the fittings you have to the hardware store for a proper match.
  • Although the directions indicate replacing a straight piece of ABS plumbing and couplings, the same processes can be used to install elbows and T's.
  • Work in a ventilated area if possible, since the fumes from solvents are very strong.
  • Wear gloves when handling wastewater ABS pipes since sewage contains harmful bacteria.

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