How To Patch a Pipe Leak
So, you think you may have a pipe leaking somewhere in your home. Unlike a squeaky door or a fence in need of a fresh coat of paint, a pipe leak is an immediate problem that must be addressed. Leaving a pipe leaking behind a wall or beneath a floor can have devastating effects that far outweigh the cost of time and attention used in leak detection. Consider this – even if you are hesitant to investigate a pipe leak yourself, there are professionals at businesses like Dr. Pipe drain and plumbing that can be hired for far less than the cost of replacing a wall or tearing up an entire section of flooring. Naturally, you won’t want to ignore this issue, so get right to work tracking down the source of the leak.
Once you’ve located the source of the pipe leaking, the next step is to stop all water from flowing through the pipe. Water can be shut off using a water main, but bear in mind there will still be water in the pipes themselves. Open up faucets and taps off that line to naturally remove the water left in the pipes, then follow up by making use of check valves along the pipes themselves – this will keep water from interrupting your repair efforts. From there, a piece of rubber (a scrap from a rubber innertube or other heavy-duty thickness will do) wrapped around the pipe and secured with an inexpensive strip of metal called a hose clamp will keep the leak from getting out of control while you call an expert to come out to fix the pipe itself.
Another option, which will provide a slightly more sturdy “band aid” for your pipe leak, is a special water-activated version of fiberglass-resin tape, which can be soaked and wrapped around the leak. If using this method, be sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles and allow to set per the manufacture’s instructions before turning the water back on. In special areas, such as fittings or couplings where pipe lines divide, epoxy putty can be used on the dried surface – this two-part compound becomes adhesive when combined to provide a powerful seal.
These patches will hold for awhile, but please note these are not permanent solutions. In addition, you should take special care if working on hot water lines – allow these to cool completely after draining the water to prevent burns and injury.