Leaking water pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. As such, it is important for you as a homeowner to have some knowledge on how to combat such leaks as soon as they occur to prevent unnecessary damage. This will also give you the time you need to call in a qualified plumber to comprehensively fix the damage and get your indoor plumbing system back to its optimal working condition.
If one of the pipes at your house spring a leak right when you least expect it, and you simply cannot wait for a plumber to come in and fix the issue, the quick fixes described below will definitely come in handy.
Before we delve deeper into how you can quickly fix a leaky water pipe at home, it’s only right that we start by looking at how you can further damage by shutting down the water supply to the problematic pipe in the first place.
Your home’s indoor plumbing system is fitted with a variety of strategically positioned water shut off valves. You can use these valves to cut off the water supply to leaking pipes, and therefore give yourself ample time to make the quick fixes described below before restoring normal water supply, albeit for a short period of time, until a plumbing expert can have a proper look at things.
All you need to do is follow the burst pipe to the nearest shutoff valve and then use it to cut off its water supply. If you cannot locate the nearest valve, or simply don’t have time to do so, use your home’s main water supply valve, located close to the water meter, to cut water supply to the entire house for a brief period; until you have made the quick fix.
Now that you no longer have to worry about the huge amount of water being dumped straight into your house by a burst water pipe, as you have cut off its water supply, you can conduct the fixes below before restoring temporary functionality to the plumbing system.
Using Duct Tape
Fixing a leaky water pipe, temporarily, can be as simple as wrapping it up with duct tape. If you have no plumbing tools, and can’t rush to the hardware store, then this is your best chance of fixing a burst water pipe and restoring temporary water supply to your home.
Dry the area around the crack and then pick up your duct tape and wrap it tightly, over the crack, around the pipe. Be sure to wrap the tape tightly around the pipe to seal it up nicely and keep water from dripping out afterwards. It’s also wise to wrap the tape over the pipe several times to ensure that the resulting seal is thick enough to stand up to the water pressure in the pipe once supply is restored.
Once you are comfortable with the seal created, you can then restore water supply to the pipe and see how well the makeshift seal holds up.
Plumber’s epoxy, as it’s commonly called, is a doughy compound that is similar to moulding clay. The substance, which is mainly designed to be used on cast iron piping, is found in most hardware stores.
Once you dry the area around the crack on the affected water pipe, you can use the epoxy to seal the crack. Before application, be sure to work the substance in your hands for a while until it’s easily workable. When the epoxy is ready, work it around and into the crack to create a reliable seal. After you are done, leave it to dry for a while before restoring water supply to the pipes; remember to inspect the area for leaks afterwards.
Water Pipe Clamps
Considering that water pipe clamps are used to plug leaks in the most demanding applications, in submarines and aeroplanes, they are more than enough for domestic applications.
Having a rubber patch secured in place, over the crack, with electric tape before installing the clamp will definitely go a long way in creating a watertight seal around the leak. All these supplies are readily available at your local hardware store.
Shutting off the water supply to your home due to a single leaking pipe may be highly inconvenient, even for a brief period; use the tips above to temporarily rectify the problem before you call in a qualified plumber to make lasting repairs.