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If your house is a living organism, the pipe system could be considered as its veins and arteries. And just like with our own bodies, you should always take the “health” of your pipes very seriously. Because once there’s a problem in this complex system, it may take several days to be fixed even if you know what you’re doing.
If a pipe breaks, the faster you act, the better. However, a broken drain pipe can be even trickier. In this post, the Fantastic Services team will explain how to fix a broken drain pipe underground and all the complications that might come from the damage. So continue reading if you are someone who wishes to fix their plumbing problems on their own.
Underground drain pipes are less likely to get damaged since their location offers them good protection from the elements and any external physical damage. However, it’s still possible for underground drain pipes to rupture. The most common reasons are:
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Once you’ve found the location of the leakage, you’ll have to fix it. Depending on the place, you might have to dig the soil in your yard or break the concrete slab in your basement in order to reach the damaged part of the pipe. In both cases, it will take a lot of physical effort and specialized tools to do the job properly.
It should be somewhere in your yard. If you live in an apartment complex, you might need to call someone from the city waterworks to do this. With the water not spilling out anymore, you can start the procedure.
Your next task is to uncover the broken part of the drain pipe. If it’s in the yard, arm yourself with a shovel. If it’s under the concrete slab of your basement, you’ll need heavy-duty equipment. Your main goal here is to clear the whole pipeline, not just the damaged part. Also, you’ll need to dig about 15 centimetres under the pipe.
The leak might not be the only problem, so while you’re here, make sure to examine for general wear and tear. You might end up having to replace the entire line from the street to the house.
You can make the cut with a hacksaw, a metal cutting blade, or a tubing cutter. You’ll need to cut about 30 centimetres from the tear from both sides and replace this piece with a brand new copper pipe.
Use a wire brush to smoothen the inside of the pipe, as well as the cut edges.
Fit the new pipe into place and slide the slip coupling so that one half of each coupling is on the old pipe and the other is on the new. Heat the coupling from underneath with a propane torch and at the same time put a piece of lead-free solder wire on the edge of the coupling that connects to the old pipe. When you see the solder drip, put another piece of solder atop the other edge of the coupling. Do this on both couplings.
Now that we’ve explained how to fix a broken pipe underground, some of you might think that this is a job that could be easily completed by yourself with no problems. Still, others might decide to call a professional plumber to fix the damage and we strongly recommend this option instead of the first one. We at Fantastic Services advise our readers not to attempt repair projects if you’re not confident in your skills and knowledge. If there is a broken drainpipe, and you prefer to leave it to the professionals, get in touch as soon as possible. Check our plumbers cost guide, to get an idea of much you would be charged on average.
The best way to keep this problem out of your life is to make sure it never happens in the first place. Take measures to insulate your pipes, have regular inspections and keep your drains and toilets free of blockage. Prevention is the best medicine. If you’re not certain when was the last time you inspected your piping system, contact a professional. If your house is already experiencing signs of damage, get in touch with a certified plumber immediately.
Have you ever had to deal with a broken drain pipe underground? Did you fix it yourself or did you call professionals? Tell us in the comments!
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