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Can a polypropylene water main be repaired.? Answered

I wanted to tap into a polypropylene water main.  I had some previous experience with this type of pipe in my city.  I tried to used a PVC barb fitting coupling with SS hose clamps.  But these pipes have been in the ground in my city about 30 years.  The pipe seems to be brittle with age.  I had to  use a torch to get the previous 1" pipe to slip onto the barb fitting.  It held for about 2 months, then split and began to leak at the repair.  My plumber friend tells me his company will not touch these pipes.  They just replace the whole water main with copper pipe (for about $2200!).


I'm getting the impression that you did something you shouldn't have really. To whom does the pipe belong that you've ruptured (it might be their responsibility)?



8 years ago

As a Plumber I have replaced lots and lots of polypropylene as a legal settlement due to the fact that it is, and has been, faulty pipe since it was first used. It has been "modified" and used over and over, but the stuff SUCKS! Of course all pipe gets old, but there is no substitute for copper. Your current Plumber is simply making a wise decision not to mess with it because he is responsible for any repairs he makes. What I do not understand is why you still have some in use or why your "Plumber" does not know what I just stated......BUT then again, EVERYBODY IS A PLUMBER!


Old pipes are fragile, period, no matter what the materials -- I've seen copper water lines snap after decades of erosion. Don't tamper with them unless you're prepared to replace them if they fail, and don't tamper with them unless you know what you're doing or are prepared to pay someone who does to undo your mistakes. (BTW, I can't imagine any legal reason for an amateur to be tapping into a water _main_. I presume that wasn't what you meant to say.)

YOu need a different plumber.

You can get screw or push on fittings to suit poly pipe. The larger main and professionally fitted system may be welded initially - this is probably beyond you.

I think it is usually welded either with heat or ultrasonically.