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.