Having a busted water line in the middle of the winter is no fun for anyone. This being noted I would encourage anyone to wrap their water pipes with insulation and provide adequate protection from the cold. Not only will this prevent freezing but it will help save energy as you will not lose heat from the hot water line so readily.
More than likely you will have one of the more common types of the 4 water pipes in your home. It will more than likely be copper, PVC, or galvanized. If it is a new home you may even have plastic pipe.
It used to be that if you had copper pipe you had to be able to solder your new joints in order to complete a repair. This made it the most troublesome pipe on the market for the do it yourselfer. Thanks to modern technology however there is a fix that works on copper, galvanized, PVC and plastic pipe that makes any home owner able to repair that pesky leak or frozen pipe with a minimum of tools, time and money.
A compression fitting is now on the market and it is carried by all the name brand hardware stores. If you can turn a wrench you can repair a water pipe. The other good thing about these compression fittings is you do not even have to buy high priced copper pipe or galvanized pipe to mend that busted section.
These compression fittings are designed so that you may use the same type pipe in the section removed or you may replace that section with cheaper pvc or plastic pipe. This saves us lots of money.
To repair a burst copper pipe you first find the section that is leaking. Remember if it was frozen you will more than likely have to remove a larger piece of the pipe because it has swollen and a new fitting will not fit over the swollen section.
Once you have found the section you merely cut out the damaged portion by cutting each end of the bad pipe. This can be cut with a hacksaw but a pipe cutter is preferable as sometimes it is hard to get a saw into place.
Once you have the section cut out you just go to the hardware store and find the type of pipe you want to replace it with. As I said you can use copper, pvc or plastic pipe to repair this. When you have chosen the affordable pipe you then get the compression fittings. You will need two.
You will get fittings that will have written on the package that they will work connecting say copper-copper or copper-PVC or copper to plastic.
Now all you do is make sure your pipe ends are clean of any burrs and follow the directions for installing the compression fittings onto the burst pipe and tighten them with your new pipe in place.
This is the simplest method of repairing any water leak as the compression fittings come in different styles such as straight coupling, 90 degree coupling,45 degree etc.
By using these compression fittings the only tools you will need on hand are a couple of adjustable wrenches, a pipe cutter, tape measure and some sand paper to deburr the ends of the pipe.
No more will you need a torch, flux,solder, PVC cleaner and glue or thread tape. Life just got simpler for both the plumber and the homeowner.