How To Repair Broken Plastic Parts

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In this article I’ll show you how to repair broken plastic parts. Fixing is far less expensive than buying a new one from the manufacturer.

It’s not always how much money you make that matters, but how you manage what you have.

I broke a critical part of my pressure washer when I accidentally stepped on the intake filter. Unfortunately it broke a proprietary part.

Aren’t they all?

Anyway, it’s better to try and repair something like this rather than to pay a premium for a new part.

After dismantling the pressure washer, I discovered that a plastic elbow on the intake water system cracked rendering the machine temporarily useless.

Plastic Repair Options

There are a couple of options to fix this. One is to weld it back together by heating up the plastic. A simple soldering iron can be used. That might have worked, but I needed a water tight repair. It also needed to withstand 40 psi from the city water supply.

What I chose instead was a marine grade 2-part epoxy that is waterproof and also bonds most plastics. The epoxy that was rated only for plastics looked tempting, but there was a warning on the label against using it for any standing water application, so that option was rejected.

Steps To Repair Plastic

Step 1
Clean the broken part to remove any debris. An air compressor is an effective tool to blow dust out of the crack. Isopropyl alcohol also works but it does not remove debris as well in the cracks.

Step 2
Squeeze equal parts of the epoxy onto a sacrificial board or thick paper and mix thoroughly together with a stir stick.

Step 3
Open up the crack as wide as possible, then apply as much epoxy on the broken surfaces that can be reached with the stir stick.

Step 4
Spread additional epoxy onto the crack so that the following step will work.

Step 5
Work the broken part open and closed several times so that epoxy creeps into the smallest crevice of the crack. The goal is to have all broken surfaces coated. Sufficient epoxy is needed on the surface in order for this to work. For a water tight repair like this one, this step must be done right or it will leak.

Step 6
Clamp the two parts together for at least 3 hours, preferably 24 and leave undisturbed.

Step 7
After the epoxy has cured (24 hours for most brands), remove the clamp and pressure test to make sure there are no voids in the repair.

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