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Thread: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

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    Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Hi all -

    After about a day's worth of digging, I finally found the source of a plumbing leak I've been suspecting for about a month. Check out the attached pics.

    This 3/4" pipe goes to our weeping wall, one of two that feed the water feature. The problem is, the crack is in a 90* elbow that goes right into the gunite after which the pipe then goes vertical. Any suggestions on how I can repair this properly?

    - worst case, I figured I could just cap the pipe and just feed the water feature with just the other pipe and have a somewhat lop-sided water feature
    - is there a PVC glue I can use to close the gap in the crack? The problem is, I don't know how far around the elbow the crack goes. I guess I could chisel some of the gunite below the elbow to find out.

    I'm open to suggestions! Right now, capping it is tops on my list.

    Thanks, all!
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    To repair that properly, I think you would have to chip out the concrete around the pipe.

    Clearly they did not adequately support under the pipe before they buried it.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    PVC Glue isn't going to fix that one unfortunately. I wish I could tell you it could, but I wouldn't try it on my piping.

    Best otpion here is the bad one. If you want it to stay, you'll have to chisel out and replace to do it well.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Thanks, Jason and Patrick. Ugh - I was afraid of that. I guess I can try chiseling and see just how slow it goes (exactly how hard is gunite, anyway ), then worst case I'll just cut and cap the pipe.

    Thanks!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Go do some chiseling and come back with a report on gunite hardness so we'll all know!
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    There might be a way to fix that reasonably easy.

    When the pipe goes vertical after entering the concrete, where does it go and where does it surface?

    Nice pics. very illustrative.
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    Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    If you have an air compressor, try an air hammer. That'll chip it away faster than by hand.


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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Of course you do not want to get too aggressive and crack the pipe in the concrete too
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    There might be a way to fix that reasonably easy.

    When the pipe goes vertical after entering the concrete, where does it go and where does it surface?
    Hmm, maybe cut...attach tubing to go up through the pipe? Why didn't I think of that?

    Am I close?

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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Am I close?
    Cha-ching!!
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    I like it!
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Ok, I'm not sure I follow completely, but I'm encouraged and excited!

    Dave - I've attached a couple more pics I took from when the pool was being built. One of the pictures is of the completed weeping wall. The two pipes that feed the water feature terminate in the space right under the stone coping.

    The two other pictures show the plumbing just prior to and after gunite (the offending vertical pipe is the one on the right) so you can see where it comes out.

    So what do we think?
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    What we are saying is come back from the elbow a few/several inches, make a cut. Then, lift and break off the section connected to the elbow. It should be easy, being its cracked most of the way round the elbow now. On the end coming from the pump, you install a fitting you can reduce down to a female threaded fitting. Into that you can screw in a tubing fitting that will allow you to connect, and run a smaller diameter piece of tubing up the broken pipe. After the tube is run up, and in place, you could pack the old pipe with silicone sealer or something to make a seal. Since its low flow, and open ended, some variation on this could work.

    Perhaps some details to work out but this is my rough idea on my first cup of coffee this morning.

    PS

    May I assume correctly you've contacted your PB about this, and he's no help? This is clearly a faulty install and entirely their fault. That elbow broke under stress from the ground settling on the pipe run with this installation. Some PBs have a warranty period, but that may be a moot point. I'm simply curious about it.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Let Dave weigh in and see if we can hammer down the details.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    I know that I'm late to the party, but I think I'd try chipping out around the elbow and up the piping a little ways and replace the piping and fittings.

    If you have a air compressor, I'd go to Harbor Freight, etc. and buy a cheap air impact hammer and a set of chisels to chip it out with. You can be pretty gentle with one of those.

    Once I got it chipped out I might even consider repairing it with a piece of heater hose, double clamped. You'd be surprised how long that would last and that would remove the chance of it breaking again because of ground movement.

    P.S. Not the Dave mentioned above.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    You will have to chip out the pipe and then install a pipe extender into it then glue a 90 on to the pipe extender.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    I agree the best solution is a full repair, but duraleigh and I were just thinking of how you could get around chipping out the cement.
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    Thanks, everyone! Normally, I'd be all for the "proper" fix, but since this is a relatively minor part of the plumbing, I'm willing to consider simpler solutions.

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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    I would chip it out. You could rent a chipping gun from Home Depot or your local tool rental place. I think you will be amazed at how well the gun works. Here is just one example of the guns available : http://www6.homedepot.com/tool-truck...14C/index.html
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    Re: Crack in PVC Elbow Partially in Gunite - Suggestions for Repair?

    I would agree to chipping it out but getting enough concrete removed from the back of the joint above the elbow is likely easier said than done. Give it a try but be prepared to push a tube up through it if the chipping doesn't work.
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