Cracked ABS: Causes, Fixes, and Prevention


If you have ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) pipes or fittings in your home, you may be wondering what to do if it cracks. There are actually several methods you can use to fix it yourself. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different methods for repairing cracked ABS and provide tips for each.

What causes cracked ABS?

ABS is a type of plastic that is commonly used for drain, waste, and vent lines. It is strong and durable, but it can develop cracks over time. Cracks in ABS fittings and pipes can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, sunlight exposure, and chemical damage. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes:

  • Physical damage to the pipe – ABS is durable, but it can be damaged by physical force. For example, if a heavy object falls on the pipe or fitting, it can crack.
  • Excessive sunlight exposure – Sunlight can damage ABS over time. The UV rays can cause the material to become brittle and crack.
  • Chemical damage from cleaners or other chemicals – Certain cleaners and chemicals can damage ABS. For example, bleach can cause the material to become brittle and crack.
  • Age – As ABS ages, it can become brittle and crack. This is especially true if the pipe or fitting is exposed to sunlight or chemicals.
  • Corrosion – Corrosion can cause ABS to crack. This is usually the result of a chemical reaction between the pipe/fitting and the surrounding environment.
  • Poor installation – If ABS is not installed correctly, it can develop cracks. For example, if the pipes or fittings are not supported properly, they can sag and crack.
  • Thermal expansion – When ABS is exposed to extreme changes in temperature, it can expand and contract. This can cause the material to crack.
  • Poor quality materials – If the ABS pipe or fitting is made from inferior materials, it can be more susceptible to cracking.

How can a cracked ABS pipe or fitting be repaired?

One method for repairing cracked ABS is to just replace the cracked section with a new piece of ABS. If it is a fitting, you can just unscrew the old fitting and screw in a new one. If it is a pipe, you will need to cut out the cracked section and join the two ends with a new piece of pipe.

Another method is to use a patch kit. There are various types of patch kits available, but they all basically work by bonding the patch to the cracked pipe/fitting. This is not as strong as a replacement, but it can be a good temporary fix.

If the crack is extremely minor, another option you can explore is using glue or epoxy. This is not recommended for large or serious cracks, but it can work for very small ones. Again this would only be a temporary fix.

A fourth option is using silicone wrap tape. This tape is designed to adhere to ABS and create a water-tight seal. This can be used for cracks of all sizes, but it is not as durable as a replacement.

It is also worth noting that some of these methods may require you to shut off the water supply before starting. This is to prevent any water from leaking out while you are working.

Important Note: For temporary fixes, do not get complacent and forget to check the fix regularly. Cracks can and do continue to spread, even when they are patched. You should make plans to fix the crack properly as soon as possible.

What are the consequences of not repairing a cracked ABS pipe/fitting?

If a cracked ABS pipe/fitting is not repaired, the consequences can be serious. First, water can leak out from the crack and cause extensive damage to your home or business. Second, the crack can continue to spread and eventually cause the pipe/fitting to fail completely. This can lead to a flood or other serious disaster. Third, if the crack is located in a drain line, it can allow sewage and other harmful contaminants to enter your home or business.

It is important to note that even a small crack can cause major problems, so it is always best to repair them as soon as possible. Waiting too long can end up costing you a lot of money in repairs, or even put your safety at risk.

If you have any questions about repairing a cracked ABS pipe/fitting, please feel free to contact a qualified plumber or contractor for more information.

How much does it cost to repair a cracked ABS fitting?

The cost of repairing a cracked ABS fitting will depend on the severity of the crack, the type of repair being done, and who is doing the repair. If you are just replacing the cracked fitting, it will probably cost less than $10. If you are patching the crack, it will probably cost between $10 and $20. And if you are using glue or epoxy, it will probably cost less than $5. Of course, these costs can vary depending on the specific situation.

How to prevent cracked ABS?

Of course, the best way to deal with a cracked ABS pipe/fitting is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You can do this by avoiding physical damage, sunlight exposure, and chemicals. If you must use cleaners or chemicals, make sure to use ones that are safe for ABS. Also, be sure to support the pipes and fittings properly during installation. And finally, make sure to use high-quality materials. By taking these precautions, you can help prevent cracked ABS.

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