Some context: first time home owner with no idea what I’m doing outside of google.

In January, this happened: enter image description here

It turned out there is a leak occurring near the elbow.

1) the elbow itself did not show signs of leaking or cracks 2) the leak is occuring where the pipe meets the elbow

I asked my handman to cut that portion and add a new elbow, but the leak occurred again yesterday

enter image description here

1 area of concern: 1) the horizontal pvc pipe awkwardly touches the concrete. It may be too rigid for handling water vibrations when water passes through. Another concern is that the concrete expands in the heat (it reaches 107 F out here), potentially moving the pvc pipe.

1 question: 1) My handyman suggest flex pvc. Thoughts? This is buried under 2inches if dirt. Ive seen positive and negative, but mostly negative on the suggestion

If so, what could be a recommended solution?

  • 2
    What are you using for primmer and type of glue? Would wipe dry, prime the heck out of it and use a wet set glue. And let it dry 20 minutes before water put on .
    – user101687
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 6:27
  • 3
    The repair wasn't done properly if it's leaking again. PVC is very durable, and solvent welds are pretty much foolproof if proper preparation was made. There's no way that tiny movements in the concrete would break a joint that far away. I'd ask your somewhat-handyman to do it over (or, better, learn to do simple repairs like this yourself--PVC is easy).
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 12:53
  • That really looks like iron pipe that was painted based on the couplings and rust, if you say it’s PVC, I believe you but to me to looks like metal. Fully agree with @isherwood on how easy pvc is to repair.+
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 13:13
  • @isherwood 100% agree on how easy it is - I am unfortunately 600 miles away on a business trip and its for a rental property, so I can't let it sit for too long :(. Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 13:28
  • 2
    Ed, the pipe on top of the footing seems to be galvanized iron. The PVC in question is in the dirt.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


Not sure what your pressure is but this looks like 1" PVC. That, and conventional Blu-glue should easily withstand domestic mains pressure.

It is unlikely to be the 90° bend causing the problem. It is likely to be the quality of the join.

  1. Dig a decent sump under the bend, extending at least 2 ft either side.
  2. Drain the line.
  3. Pump the sump dry.
  4. Cut the offending elbow out. Inevitably some water will be lost into the sump.
  5. Pump the sump dry again.
  6. Cut each arm of the line back 6" to 12"
  7. Thoroughly clean and dress both ends. There should be no rough ends and no swarf remaining. Fine emery paper is good. DO NOT reduce the OD of the pipe. Ok to roughen though.
  8. Obtain and dry fit replacement pipe.

You will need 2 x female-female straight joins, a replacement elbow and two appropriate lengths of pipe, a pot of blu-glue and a pot of primer (usually red in colour).

Beware the primer is usually methyl-ethyl-ketone based. Do not breathe the fumes or get it on your skin. Use appropriate chemically resistant gloves, it will eat straight through many plastic gloves.

  1. Ensure all surfaces are clean and dry. Not moist, not damp, DRY. Ideally use lint free cloth.
  2. Pre-assemble the elbow, lengths of pipe and joiners.

Prime each surface to be joined. Apply a liberal coat of glue to each surface. Do not apply glue to the inside ends of the joins that will mate to the existing pipe at this stage.

Don't go crazy, the glue is very forgiving but all surfaces should be wet. More is not better.

Do not take too long, the glue dries quickly.

Push fit the parts together. Leave to dry. An hour is plenty in warm weather.

  1. Put a piece of plastic or tarp under the ends of the existing pipe. remember we want clean and dry.
  2. Prime the ends of the existing pipe.
  3. Apply glue to the ends of the existing pipe and the inside of the joiners.
  4. Push fit.
  5. Leave at least a couple of hours.

Slowly turn the water back on. Check for leaks. I will be VERY surprised if you get any.

I hope this is not too tedious but as you said you have no experience I wanted to give you a clear step by step.

Good luck.

  • Superb answer, well done. plus 1.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 14:54
  • OP did say "preferred solution", +1. But with 2 rubber repair couplings, and an elbow stubbed out on both ends (assembled on a table), you wouldn't have to drain it.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 2:04

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