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mcgrete 01-16-2011 09:44 AM

Relace vs Repair: PVC heating exhaust joint

I have a very small leak in my heating exhaust pipe joint, made out of PVC. The pipe is very difficult to access as it is surrounded by ducts and floor joists.

My question is, I have seen conflicting advice on the internet and even this site, as to whether I should repair the leak, or replace the piping. It is only one leak, the house is 4 years old, and the leak is very small. I am inclinded to repair rather than replace.

If I repair, one idea is to pull a vacuum on the run and prime and glue it using the vacuum to pull them into the joint leak. I can pull a vacuum by connecting vacuum to the exhaust outlet pipe, however, I have a question about sealing the run. The only other open end (besides the small leak) is where the run connects to the furnace and its blower. Will the blower seal itself, or will I need to disassemble the piping to the blower and seal it myself?

If I replace the local section of the run, I don't see a way to be able to rotate the male pipe relative to the female joint when priming and gluing. How necessary is that during installation? I don't wan't to be repeating the fix in a few years.


gregzoll 01-16-2011 09:48 AM

If there is a hole in the Exhaust, the acid from the exhaust most likely caused it, and best solution would be to replace the whole run. Otherwise, you have the possibility of CO off gassing going into the living space, just doing what you want to do.

yuri 01-16-2011 09:55 AM

Wait until Summer and don't run the furnace for a week. Moisture inside the pipe should evaporate. Clean the joint lightly with a toothbrush. Heat the joint mildly with a hairdryer and then slather lots of PVC cement on the joint. Works 95% of the time. If your furnace is burning cleanly and most do then it produces CO2 and H20 and a tiny bit of S Sulphur. Only when it is burning badly due to dirty burners or lack of combustion air does it produce CO or when the heat exchanger is cracked. You should have 2 newer high quality "low level" CO detectors in your house. One in or by your bedroom and one in the stairwell from the basement as fumes rise.

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