Fixing a damaged heating pipe

Pipes tend to break at the most inopportune moments – or maybe it’s just that there’s never a good time for a pipe to break. Here’s a guide on how to fix a damaged heating pipe; it’s important to make sure that before undertaking any work on your central heating, that you drain the system completely first.

Level of difficulty

Level 2: Intermediate

Things you’ll need

  • Saw
  • Bucket
  • Rag
  • Compression fittings
  • Slip connector
  • Tape measure
  • Copper pipe
  • Brass slip connector
  • Cap-nuts
  • Wrench
  • Push-fit connectors
  • Pencil
  • Insulate earth cable

The steps to follow

  1. Turn off all mains power
  2. Then stop the water flow by turning the water supply off
  3. Drain the water from the pipe by opening the taps or drain cocks. Place a bucket under the pipe to catch any leakage
  4. If the pipe has burst, switch the boiler off
  5. Once the water flow is shut off, you can turn your attention to repairing the pipe
  6. Repair the pipe with a straight compression fitting so long as there is enough space for you to fit the fitting in place. Use a slip connector otherwise
  7. Cut the pipe, right at the damaged section
  8. Clean the pipe ends
  9. Measure the amount of replacement pipe and cut a new pipe out of this measurement. Use either a 15 mm or (1/2 in) brass slip connector and 15 mm (1/2 in) copper pipe
  10. Fit a slip connector into place and place it over the cut-out
  11. Tighten the cap-nuts with a wrench
  12. Turn the water supply back on and check for leaks
  13. If the pipe is severely damaged, cut the section out and connect a new pipe by using two compression or push-fit connectors
  14. If you plan to use plastic fittings or pipe as replacement, maintain earth continuity in the pipe work by fitting an earth clamp to the copper pipe
  15. Link the clamps with 2 single-core insulated earth cables

Note: Sometimes, the leak may be from a fitting rather than from a pipe.  Try tightening the cap-nuts on compression fittings, or dismantle the fitting and use PTFE to tape over the olive before reassembling it.  A leaking capillary fitting cannot be re-soldered if the pipe has water inside it. You’ll need to cut it and replace it with a slip connector.

Don’t want to DIY? Get recommended heating engineers for your home improvement job.

Please note that all our DIY guides and ‘Expert answers’ advice have been written strictly for reference only. Rated People do not accept any liability for any damage caused to an individual, property or anything else as a result of following our DIY guides and using our ‘Expert answers’ advice.

Share Button