Learn to Fix a Leaky Pipe and Stop Water Damage

As with almost any accident, a leaky pipe will happen at the worst possible moment. Once you notice a plumbing problem, it is important to call a plumber right away. However, if a plumber cannot fix your leak that day, a quick fix will prevent water damage until a professional can repair the plumbing.

After you discover a water leak, turn off the main water valve. This will prevent any more water from entering your home, creating an even larger plumbing problem and water damage. Then turn on a faucet on the first floor to drain all of remaining water out of the pipes. This should stop any more water from escaping through the leaky pipe.

Once the water has been stopped, assess the size and location of the water leak before beginning a repair. This information will allow you to use a technique that should temporarily fix almost any plumbing problem until a plumber can permanently fix the damage.

If the water has been stopped, do not start repair until the area around the problem is clean and mostly dry. By acting immediately you can stop most damage from the plumbing problem. By letting the area air dry, rather than absorbing excess water, the affected areas can warp or cause mold.

A small leak can be fixed with electrical tape. To make this type of repair, dry the surrounding pipe with a towel before beginning so the electrical tape can best adhere to the plumbing. Repair the plumbing by wrapping the electrical tape around pipe, beginning about two inches away from the actual leak.

Wrap the tape over the leak and continue down the pipe until you reach about two inches after the area that contains the leak. Then start wrapping the tape in the other direction, not stopping until you have reached the point you started. Do this several times to create a tight, although temporary, seal around the pipe to fix the problem.

A larger leak in the plumbing cannot be solved with electrical tape. Instead, you can use a pipe clamp and a piece of bicycle inner tube to fix the leaky pipe. Cut a piece of bicycle inner tube so that fits around the leak. Then use a pipe clamp to secure the inner tube and complete the repair.

If the leak is small and the result of a puncture, you can use a hose clamp in place of a pipe clamp to repair the damage. Just use the inner tube to create a tight seal before placing the hose clamp. This should fix most small punctures in the plumbing.

A leaky fitting can be repaired using epoxy. Make sure the surrounding plumbing is both dry and clean before attempting this repair. If in doubt, use steel wool to clean the pipe thoroughly. Then you can simply mix the epoxy compound and apply it to the fitting. Be generous with the epoxy, and be sure that it fills any crack. Then wait for the epoxy to cure.

This fixes might fix a leak for several days, but it is important to schedule a date with a plumber as soon as you are able. A professional will be able to assess and repair the problem and prevent any further damage to your plumbing.

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