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justgetitdone 09-24-2010 01:49 PM

HDPE main water line leak repair
What are the most reliable way(s) for a DIY'er to repair a leak in an HDPE water main line?

I'm currently trying to splice a length of HDPE tubing using stainless steel barbed connectors and hose clamps. The first connection is good and doesn't leak, but the second connection is leaking quite a bit, even at much reduced water pressure. It was very difficult for me to insert the last connection and get the barbs into the tubing far enough (I was using a heat gun to heat the tubing, but no lubricants). Is there a lubricant that's ok to use in the water supply? Or is there another way or trick to do this that's easier :huh:?

Thanks in advance,


braindead 09-24-2010 04:31 PM

Heat is the only thing I've ever used, you may not be getting them hot enough, I always use two hose clamps on each joint counter opposed to each other

justgetitdone 09-24-2010 06:46 PM

Thanks...I'm now trying brass male threaded barbs and a PVC union so that I don't need so much leverage to make the final connection...In order to redo I had to take out more PE, so I have more splices than I'd like, but I just want to be able to turn my water back on even if there are some temporary leaks.:wink:

the_man 09-24-2010 08:48 PM

I always take a torch and heat the poly a bit so it's soft and bites the barbs well. Helps get it on easier too. Like someone said above, 2 hose clamps that aren't way too big with the screw on opposite sides :thumbsup:

justgetitdone 09-25-2010 06:04 PM

The PVC union did not work as it is too rigid and there's a bit of a bend needed in the repair area. So went back to the barbed connectors, double hose clamps and heated the PE more and it worked...with no leaks (yet anyway)! :thumbup:

I was able to use my 1875W hairdryer which did heat up the PE enough to get the barbs in and make a good seal.

Thanks "braindead" and "the man" for your replies and help.

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