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When Your Plumbing Springs A Leak: 5 Quick Fixes Until The Plumber Arrives

Construction & Contractors Articles

Many things in life tend to follow Murphy's Law and break at the most inconvenient times. Your plumbing is no exception. If you suddenly discover leaks in your pipes and need to wait for the services of a plumber, there are ways to make temporary repairs to get you through that long holiday weekend or until your plumber is back from vacation. Try these tricks to seal leaks in your pipes until you can get a permanent repair.

Note: Before attempting to make a temporary repair to your plumbing you will need to turn off the water supply and dry the pipe with a soft cloth. Any visible residue should also be cleaned at this time to make repairs easier and ensure that tapes or sealants stick well. Inspect the pipe carefully to determine the exact source of the leak.

1. Pencil and Tape: Pinhole leaks can be fixed by filling the hole and then sealing it. Stick the point of a sharp pencil into the hole and break it off so the lead fills the hole. Wrap the area with electrician's tape. Cover it with plumber's epoxy or silicone sealant and allow it to dry before turning the water back on. This repair will get you through a few days until a plumber looks at your pipes.

2. Pipe Clamps: Ordinary pipe or hose clamps can be found at any hardware store and may save the day when your plumbing needs a quick fix. Cut a piece of rubber or vinyl to cover the leak. You can use an old inner tube from a bike tire, a section from a garden hose or any other heavyweight rubber or vinyl to seal the hole. Wrap the rubber around the pipe and extend it several inches past the leak. Place the hose clamps over the rubber and screw them tightly to hold the rubber snug against the leak. For small leaks, place the clamp directly over the leak. For larger leaks, use two clamps and place them on either side of the leak. For long cracks, use several clamps along the leak.

3. Band-Aid Pipe Clamp: This clamp is made specifically for mending leaks in pipes. The clamp comes in two parts that are fitted over the pipe and screwed together. It holds a rubber gasket inside the clamp to seal the leak in the pipe. This clamp is easy to install, but probably isn't part of your home maintenance supplies. You can find one in the plumbing aisle in hardware and home improvement stores. You will need to know the size of your pipe to buy the right pipe clamp. Although it may seem like a permanent fix for your leak, the plumber's Band-Aid is meant as a temporary solution.

4. Plumbing Repair Tape: This tape is specially designed for making plumbing repairs. You can use it to seal leaky joints or small leaks in your pipes. Dry the pipe with a soft cloth and wrap the plumbing repair tape around the leak. The tape will adhere to itself and seal the leak. 

5. Duct Tape: Duct Tape can be used as a temporary fix for plumbing leaks, but it is not meant as a long-term solution. Wrap the pipe tightly with duct tape so that it extends several inches beyond the leak for added protection.

A temporary repair to your plumbing can save the day and avoid water damage, but do not be lulled into thinking your temporary fix has taken care of the problem. Call your local plumber as soon as possible to make permanent repairs to the plumbing. To find a plumbing company, look at this website.


14 July 2015