How to Fix Leaky Copper Pipes from a Bathroom…WITHOUT Soldering — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Fix Leaky Copper Pipes from a Bathroom…WITHOUT Soldering — by Home Repair Tutor


So if I look a little disheveled it’s because
my wife called me—I’m at the grocery store; it’s Sunday night—she told me that there
is a leak in our kitchen ceiling. There’s water coming out of the recess light. So I’m
going to go home, I’m going to drive home, and I’m going to show you how to fix this.
Most likely it’s a pinhole leak, so I’m going to show you how to fix a pinhole leak
in a copper pipe. And it’s easier when you have the supplies already at your house. So
I’m going to share with you the supplies that I have on-hand—it’s kind of like
an emergency plumbing kit—and I think you should have it. So I’m going to drive home,
set things up, and show you how to fix a leaking copper pipe. Let’s get to it.
All right, as you can see here I put a little hole in the ceiling so I can see exactly where
the water was coming out. Now you also want to check to see where it’s mushy before
you drill that hole. And then you can saw with a drywall saw, like I’m doing here,
a tiny little square or rectangle up in the ceiling and look for exactly where the leak
is coming from. So that’s what I did. I thought that I spotted it. And then I cut
out a bigger hole to be able to access that pipe and work on it. So that’s kind of the
general way in which you want to spot the location of the leak.
Now in my case, the copper pipe was leaking right where it was going through the joist.
No fun, but I’ve done this several times before. It’s an easy fix. After you spot
the leak, you want to turn the water off to the house and then flush the system at the
lowest point. In this case, it was the laundry tub. So I’m going to flush the hot and cold
lines. Now I’m going to be using SharkBite fittings.
This is a ½” x ½” coupling. And it’s going to be helping me to splice the copper
pipe with a piece of PEX. So here’s a ½” PEX. I just need to make sure that the end
of it is square. Now I like using an autocut tool to cut the
copper pipe. As you can see here, I’m just twisting it in the direction of the arrow
that’s on the autocut tool. Then what I’m going to do is, once I get a nice cut and
I slice the copper in half, I’m going to drain the rest of the lines into that plastic
bowl. Now this is a SharkBite removal tool. Because
I already have some SharkBite fittings up in the ceiling, I’m going to slide this
onto the pipe and push it against the SharkBite fitting and then pull the pipe out of the
SharkBite itself. So that’s why I’m using that tool. And you can do the exact same thing.
Now to the left of my stubby thumb here, you’re going to see a black dot. That is the source
of the pinhole leak. We’ve been having a lot of these in our house—probably 5 or
6. And if I were to replace the copper pipe, I’d use Type L because it’s a little bit
thicker wall than the type of copper pipe that I have up in the ceiling—just a bit
thicker. So if you’re going to be doing that, this
is a deburring tool on my RIDGID No. 15 pipe cutter. You want to deburr your copper pipe
like so because when you cut it, it’s going to have a little depression in it, and you
might have some copper shavings on the surface or inside of the copper pipe. You just want
to smooth it out using emery cloth. So deburr it, and then smooth it out using emery cloth.
Now this little orange tool is a SharkBite tool. You slide it on to the end of your copper
pipe or your PEX pipe, and you make a mark 1” in from the end. You can also use a measuring
tape. But I had the tool, and I used it. Then you slide on your SharkBite fitting up to
that mark that you made on it. And that’s how you know that the SharkBite is on the
entire way. Now to cut and make square the PEX pipe, I’m
using this Milwaukee pipe cutting tool—worked like a dream. And it squares off the edge
of the PEX piping. Now I just made a mark 1” in from the edge again using my SharkBite
tool. Now I know how far in the SharkBite needs to go.
So in this case, this is the pipe up in the ceiling. I’m going to make a mark on it
with a SharkBite tool. As you can see I made the mark there. Then I’m going to deburr
it and clean it just like I did with the copper pipe a few moments ago. So you always want
to deburr it. You can also use a utility knife to do this. You don’t have to buy a special
pipe cutting tool. But you do want to use emery cloth to clean off the edge as well.
So after doing that, I slid on my SharkBite fitting. It’s on there by 1”. It’s up
against the mark that I made with my marker. Then I’m going to measure the distance between
the two SharkBite fittings and then add 2” onto that dimension because the SharkBite
fittings, what they do is you slide the pipe on 1”, right? Like what we’ve been talking
about. So get your measurement at 2” onto it. I slid my PEX through the joist hole,
pushed it into the SharkBite the entire way so that the mark is flush with the SharkBite
fitting itself on both ends. It’s really as simple as that when you use SharkBite fittings.
So as you can see here, I just use my flashlight to make sure that my fittings were all nice
and tight and good to go. Oh and by the way, your pipe will spin. There’s nothing wrong
with that. So after performing the repair, I slowly turned
on the water to the house to pressurize it. Just pressurize it enough. You’ll notice
I’m not turning it on the whole way. Then I went back upstairs to check for any leaks
on all the different points of the SharkBite fittings, between the SharkBite fitting and
the PEX and copper pipe. No leaks. So in that case, what I did was this: I went back downstairs,
and I turned the water on the entire way. And I just left that on the whole way and
checked for leaks throughout the evening. But as you can see here, I created a little
bit of a mess. My poor wife, she was prepping dinner while I was fixing this copper pipe.
So that’s how you fix a leaking copper pipe, specifically a pinhole leak in the copper
pipe. I have one more bit of advice for you and a surprise, so hold tight. If you have
slack in your copper pipe, you can use a slip end fitting to fix that. So slip end fittings
slide onto the copper pipe, and they slide back and forth. You replace your section of
pipe either with copper, PVC, or PEX. You put your other SharkBite fitting on, and then
you slide this back onto your replacement piece of pipe. So I just wanted to make sure
you knew that slip end fittings exist. Now here’s the surprise: I was thinking,
wouldn’t it be cool if there were an emergency kit that you could have in case you have a
leaking copper pipe in your house? So what I’m going to do for you is put together
two emergency kits. They’re going to have two SharkBite couplings in it, two pieces
of PEX tubing—tiny pieces that you can use to replace your copper pipe—and one or the
other of one of these tools: either a Milwaukee PEX cutter, like this one here, or an autocut
tool, like this one, that cuts through copper pipe. So one or the other I’m going to give
away within each of the kits, all right? So the kit is going to have two SharkBite fittings/couplings
in it, two pieces of PEX, and either the Milwaukee tool or the autocut tool in the kit.
So how do you enter into the giveaway? Well in the comments either on YouTube or back
on over at HomeRepairTutor.com, tell me why you want the kit and how it could help you
out. It’s really that simple. And then I’ll randomly choose two lucky people, one on Home
Repair Tutor and one on YouTube. And that’s pretty much it.
All right, so thanks for watching today’s video. I really appreciate you taking the
time to do that. It’s an honor that you watch my video. I come out with a new one
every single Tuesday, so make sure you hit the subscribe button over here on YouTube.
And visit Home Repair Tutor as well because we got a ton of great tutorials waiting for
you over there. Again, thanks for watching, take care, and
I’ll see you in the comments. Here’s Tybo, my neighbor’s cat. He’s
so cute and adorable. He’s enjoying the warm weather here in Pittsburgh, too. It’s
so nice today. Hope you’re enjoying it, Tybo.

100 thoughts on “How to Fix Leaky Copper Pipes from a Bathroom…WITHOUT Soldering — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. Great tutorial. Awesome kit to have on hand for emergency leaks,,,especially in a house as old as mine (circa 1860) with copper pipes older than me and I'm almost 50!

  2. Thanks for video. I would like the emergency kit, because my family and I just moved into our home a little over a year ago. We haven't had allot of leak issues yet, but it's an older home. We are also the go to people for our elderly neighbors, and that kit could come in handy for either of us.

  3. Excellent video! And next will be how to repair the sheetrock where you gained access to the leak, right? 😉 The giveaway is a very cool idea!

  4. With a 100 year old house, it's an eventuality that plumbing repairs will be needed. Would be great to have some shark bites on hand for when it does.

  5. We definitely needed this a few years ago! We live in an older house with a lot of issues-this kit would come in handy. Thanks for the video.

  6. Pinhole leaks can also be caused by improper grounding of the copper, we had the same problem 2 leaks at odd places cut the copper out and it had thinned out inside form electrolysis, i discoed the copper ground wire had been cut at the water heater where it should have been grounded had been moved to a new location and the copper was never grounded again. We kept having pinhole leaks throughout the house until we grounded the copper. They happen at the worst time too in the middle of the night. Also the proper fix for copper is to solder it the gator grip connectors use a rubber o ring to hold the water back which lats about 2-3 years depending on the contaminants in the water and the concentration of chlorine in your area which varies with the time of the year, summers having the highest concentrations.

  7. Sure could use the kit. I have a older home with lots of copper that is getting old. Since nothing last forever i will need a kit one of these days. Thanks

  8. don't know if you got rid of your kits but I need one. bought a house for the first time in my life and can't afford a plumber. this video helped me a lot. we've had plumbing problems like crazy. thanks!

  9. it's a lot cheaper to salder the pipe and replace it also that fitting is an easy 8-10$ even tho copper pipe is about 5$ for a 5 inch copper pipe

  10. I'm a single mother and gramma and trying to save money. That's why I watched your video. I'm needing to learn about plumbing repairs because I have an issue with a leak that has damaged my floor. 🙁 Luckily, I live and learn. 🙂 Thanks for the insight and the intro to shark bite fittings! I most definitely will be watching more. God bless you for that. 🙂 Anna

  11. Great Video ,,  P.S ,, use ,  (  JUST FOR COPPER  )  WORKS EVERY TIME ,  USEING ITF OR OVER 8 YRS ,,   CHEAPER , JUST BY BOTTLE PUT IN  TOOL BOX   USE IT LIKE PVC GLUE ,,   $ 30 BOTTLE ,,    CHECK IT  OUT  ON  YOU TUBE VIDEOS AND  EBAYS GOT IT ,,

  12. my brother and i just started a handyman business and use your videos a lot so far!! one of thed first videos i watched was how to build a screen frame!! So easy and simple like you said! you can see why i need your kit!!
    thanks, Tom

  13. I used a "ProLine" push fit connector for a kitchen sink cold water supply line and it's still leaking. Sitting here trying to decide whether to solder a new coupling in or go get another push fit connector in. The hot water supply did great but this cold water one….grrrrr!

  14. Now I find this interesting because 1. your a home owner that deburrs your pipe. I've seen dozens of videos by (Plumbers) other who forget this very basic step or process.

  15. The pin hole leaks were most likely caused by an old flux brand that is no longer used. It left residues along pipe that somehow causes copper to corrode over time. Its very odd. I've had a many clients call me for pin hole leaks. Also, if you do another video tell your audience to leave the lowest valve open until the work is done encase your main leaks. I turned off a clients main, and turned on his cold water in her slop sink in her laundry. She wasn't around so I couldn't tell her and then later I forgot to. She came home knowing she wouldn't have water for a night but saw the trickle of water wasting away in the slop sink and she turned it off like a normal person would….

  16. i need the kit because now that you taught me how to join the pipes i don't have to solder and get burned,i'm a senior and i have some leaks in my house that take the energy out of me ..thanks for considering me..

  17. Another cause for pin holes in copper might be some unknown galvanized or iron pipe still in the system causing electrolysis-?  Also arent that pipe and its joints uncomfortably close to that electric light fixture-?  As another commentor said two $.25 cent copper couplings and some new copper could have been soldered in, but of course theres many ways to fix this type of leak.

  18. nice video of you that's what I was just looking for to fix my pipes, I do have a small leak and I do not know how to fix that but now that I have seen your video, now I know how to do it thank you it is really helpful.

  19. Hey buddi not sure if your aware, prolly no big deal in your direct situation here.. But sharkbite fittings are not legal or against building codes any place inside a home thats not accessable, i.e. Service panel. Under vanitys, unfinished basement or garages… So sealed up in that ceiling is a no go…. I like sharkbites but i think they havent had the test of time behind them so there leary perhaps.. All in all good vid….::

  20. good tips i am a building manager i have pin hole leaks all the time we use piece of rubber an a clamp but the sharkbite fittings would be awesome to do the repair with i will have to see if these are available in canada thanks for the videos

  21. Hello Jeff: i am a very low income senior citizen, and i could really use the kit with the copper tubing cutter. the house has copper tubing that could us this type of fix badly. I just cannot afford these plumbers, they want 65.00 i believe the last plumber said he wanted to charge me just to come out and look at the copper pipe. if i cannot afford his price(which i most likely could not) i would have lost my $65.00 right off the bat. I am old now, but can still do the job with the right tools. I hope you will consider me for your great gift kit? Thank You Very Much, Tom
    PS; if you decide not to send it too me, i just want to Thank you for the chance to get it. it is extremely kind of you to offer it to people in the first place. love your videos.

  22. Had a pinhole on the kitchen cold water line! It was a spewing lol used a self-piercing saddle valve to tie in an RO unit to the sink…(I'll never use self piercing saddle valved again!) I wasnt comfortable soldering then so I used sharkbites, they are a total Godsend! Not cheap though

  23. I find this video is very useful thanks for the video! I was searching to see how to fix the leaks in a tight spot that heat can't be used, Thanks again, also if you would send me the free kit for the half inch copper pipe (that what I have in the house mostly)I appreciate that Thanks.

  24. Why not use copper pile instead of a PVC pipe?

    I like the ease of shakebite. How does it hold up?

    anyways good vid. I just spent $600 on hot water line pin hole upstairs and damaged vanity sink and kitchen..opened a insurance claim right now. So learning basic plumbing is very helpful and cost effective.

    For older homes with problematic pipe leak, it might be cost effective and less trouble to repipe the whole house or part of it I think.

  25. Hi, I've seen some green mold on my pipes and I am scare that it will start leaking, I've been doing a lot of work on my own learning new thinks on YouTube on how to do your own home repairs, this pipes are a bit more challenging for me, I will love to have one of those emergency kits. My house was build in 1954, I don't know if pipes needs to be replaced at some point, they are mostly cooper, and my house heats with oil and hot water. If is starting to get green, do we need to replace them? Thanks, your video made this job look easy, 🙂

  26. Smarter then the home center guy, a saddle valve corroded that wasnt being used, now the hole it made was shooting water, I asked the home center guy how to fix it, all he came up was the tape over. I like a physical connection like you made.

  27. i want the kit coz i have a leak copper pipe that I broke off when I was turning on the water hoes. the whole pipe broke off and I when and bought a new one that cost 38 bucks and then I tried to solder it but never release the water pressure and when I solder it an thought it was done I turn on the water and it still leaked.

  28. I know I'm a year late but can I still enter the sweepstakes.
    😁
    My girlfriend's ceiling just started leaking.
    Which is the whole reason of how I came across your video.
    Awesome vid by the way. Very helpful.

  29. Hi I am a recent older home owner and found a leak while working in the house. First question am I still eligible for the tool as I see this was published some time ago, also when you say add 2 inches on to the fitting right before you add the pex pipe where are you adding that length? Thank you. Erica

  30. You made it look so simple..!! Lol – I'm a single mum & I enjoy fixing things, well.. what little that I have learned so far – I'm a good pest exterminator though 😂 – I'm the bug killer.. not afraid to squish those spiders with my bare hands & trap..!! Haha – thanks for the video

  31. I need the tool Jeff, Water mail line has had 2 oin hole leaks And I keep having to figure how to fix it… Firat time I use a clay it last 2 yrs and today Im going to try your advise…

  32. I would use the home repair kit to fix a house where the plumbing all burst last winter, has not been repaired. House needs a ton of work. I am buying it and rehabbing it to create an affordable rental for a co-worker who is a hard worker that works for close to min. wage and an Army Veteran. I am a Air Force retired disabled veteran.

    SSgt James Marcum
    USAF (retired) DAV, VFW, Gulf War Veteran Shout out to all my Air Force brothers. Huuah

  33. Great video, I have an old house in Florida that surprises me with water leaks on a monthly basis (last time I thought we were having sun-showers … nah, just the feed line into the house spraying me)

    Keep up the good work and I'm hoping I win a kit – will be put to good use

    DJ

  34. If you read the package on A shark bite fitting it says known to the state of California to cause cancer!!!!!! As A Pro I only use shark bite as a temporary connection

  35. II am disabled and have a disabled daughter who is 9. I have learned that hiring a plumber is very expensive. I now try to use utube to help me with repairs. I was watching your video because I have several leaks in my plumbing that is ruining my floors and ceiling. I would like you kit so I can know exactly what to purchase to make my repairs. I appreciate the utube videos that you and others post. Without them I would not be able to make the repairs this old house needs. 🙂 Thank you

  36. Hello,… I have just purchased an older Tax Deed home where the City Told me the former owner had multiple leaks. I have seen where there are odd bends in the copper piping. its all in the Basement. I have to remove bent pipe coming from a water heater and then connect your couplings that you use. Thanks. for the info. Im now on Disability Income as a multiple Cancer survivor and Im not a quitter. You have no idea how Helpful your Videos are yo a guy like me; a retired Grade school Teacher. I am Just beginning to go thru all the Bends n sections of missing Copper pipe in the House and It looks like there is alot to do in this beautiful Home. Would you please do a Video on Fixing a Leak from the City Water Meter to the Connection inside the wall of your home? thanks again,.. In such a short Time. I have learned so much from you. Thanks, Taylor in Iowa

  37. Hey great video I feel my confident about finding bathroom wall leak and how to repair it.Please enter me for emergency kit.Thanks

  38. My neighbor (a senior citizen) is living on fixed income and, so am I for that matter. I know how to do mechanical and other types of repairs but I do not have these tools that you have described in your kit. It would sure be wonderful to be able to be selected to get that kit because my neighbor currently has a rapid leak from one of her copper pipes under her house. I too have copper pipes under my house but at the moment, my neighbor has to get her pipe fixed very soon. I know I can do this job for her. She cannot afford a plumber and I would do it for her no charge just to be a good neighbor. I can assure you if I were selected to receive this kit. You would make my neighbor and me too very happy. We can't even afford those simple tools. It' either that or food. Yes, it's that bad. Thank you so much.

  39. I need the kit to repair a leak under my sink.This is my first attempt at repairing pex t joint. This was put in 7 years ago. How long do pex fitting last normally? My house was replumbed 7 yrs ago and am worried that this may be just the beginning.

  40. I want to say thank you for the video…
    I fix my problem, I thought is going to be big problem but with this video it helped me a lot!! so my water pipe is fixed it. thank you👌👌👌👌

  41. Dude,
    THANK YOU!!! Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I had never heard of this product before and stumbled across your video while having a rough time soldering a section of copper pipe together. It worked like a charm! Thanks again.

  42. I want the giveaway bcus my pipe just got busted, and I need it mate. Thanks sir, expecting it. God bless you while you give.

  43. Awesome video. Thank you. Like many this winter I just experienced my first frozen burst pipe flooding the basement. Being from Australian, where it never gets this cold, I had bit of a panic attack. I cut through the dry wall and found the leak but had no idea how to fix it so ended up paying a plumber almost $500 to do it in the middle of the night. Never again. Love the shark bite fittings!

  44. I know this video is old, but we were just on vacation for two weeks and we got back home last night with water squirting out of the wall. We had a huge spilt in the pipes and no one was coming to fix. So we decided to fix our selves. Thank you for this video!!!!

  45. Why is copper so vulnerable to pinhole leakage. My house was only 8 years old when I bought it and it's a moneypit. I've had 5 leaks in 10 years and can't afford a full PEX repiping, or my plumber who charges $500 a visit. I've lived in much older homes and never had such problems.

  46. Use PEX A since it will flex enough to get into place. U should find the whats causing the corrosion. Get ur water tested. And check if any dissimilar metal touch the pipe too.

  47. Does anyone know if the Sharkbite slip end fitting would work on a Hot water copper pipe? (in my case the pipe leads to the my Washer hot water line). I asked since I saw that the inside part of the fitting looks like plastic so not sure how that would work over a long period of time. Thanks in advance for any pointer.

  48. Hey Home Repair Tutor,it LOOKED like you used cpvc,or PVC, not pex? isn't pex flexible like a hose? PLEASE ANSWER,ELEMENTARY KID,PEACE OUT. THANKS AGAIN FOR TAKING TIME TO TEACH.GOD BLESS.

  49. I have a constant problem with leaking cooper tubing. The original owners put in this cooper tubing for the hot water tank and it's a mess but has been working up to now. Now I have numerous sections that have pin hole leaks could really use your kit and truly appreciate your instructions!!! You are the 1st person to tell me I can replace this copper tubing with plex — LOVE THAT!!!! Thank you for you inspired videos would really love your kit!!!! Thanks again!

  50. Very good video. My only suggestion is to put a pipe isolator on that new PEX pipe, that looks loose in the hole in the joist

  51. Hmm
    Love to have a kit , actually my daughter 15 texted me to come over after work ,
    She lives with the ex and this is the third time going over there to fix a pin hole ,
    I just happen to google for added tips , in case this leak is in un reachable areas and I found your link here ,
    If your still considering to part with a few items it would be appreciated greatly
    Thanks
    P

  52. Hello! Im 21 years old and I always watched my order friends be handy man's. However I moved out and never learned the skills because I was busy with high school. I need the kit because your really good at explaining things and it makes a lot of sense to be able to replace a leaky copper pipe with one slide and fit in on each end!

  53. Question? I recently put insulation and taped up my outside water spicket but in the process I may have accidentally turned the knob a little bit it slowly drips will this cause it to freeze over during a freeze can anybody let me know I sure hate to undo it I have to do it again.

  54. Shark Bites fittings are cheap and will fail much sooner than one would like. better is to earn how to use the torch and do it properly.

  55. Our home was built in 1957, so it's a year older than myself. We experienced one pinhole leak about three years ago and wound up remodeling both bathrooms as a result of the damage it caused.
    Han another pinhole leak not even a foot away from the first one just the other day, so I'm off to the box store to obtain the necessary repair supplies and some extras for an emergency kit.
    That is such a great idea! This way, we're never caught on a Sunday (which is when this latest pinhole decided to erupt!) evening without any means of obtaining parts for the repair!
    Thank you for the detailed instruction of this issue.
    Well….. Off to work I go!

  56. Proper way to fix a copper pipe and have a piece of mind is to solder in a new section joined by copper couplings. Good luck hope your repair lasts.

  57. We Have a cabin that is an hour and a half away from anything. It is copper pipe underground and under the house which is raised.We are in the Sierra Nevada mountains and I have had to stop doing work like this because of disability issues. So I’ve been asking friends to help. This is a great idea the shark bite people have and I’d like to get started using it. I’m glad you’re site came up on my Google search

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