An emergency pipe repair is no fun under any circumstances. However, there are ways to repair pipes quickly, even if you're not an expert plumber.
Leaks will pop up in household plumbing systems at the most inconvenient times possible, but if you can keep a cool head, you can stop most of them until you can get a plumbing professional to the house to do pipe installation.
Every household should have something resembling an emergency household repair kit.
When it comes to leaks, this kit should include things like plumbing tape, pipe clamps, or other pipe repair kits available at any local hardware store.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Water Shut Off
You would be surprised just how quickly even the smallest leak can create a pool of water.
How long it had been leaking, as well as how long that pool had been sitting on the floor, may indicate that other repairs may be needed in the immediate future, especially if any of that water damaged the flooring in any way.
The water flows from the house main connecting to the pipes under the house or in the attic, and then through the pipes at the connection points of the various fixtures.
Depending on where the leak was, the pipes connected to the nearest outlet must be the main suspect.
If the pool is located near the water heater, this can be more serious than a leaking pipe. In this case, you might have to contact a professional plumber who will help you immediately.
Leaks found around the toilet area indicate that it may be more than a leaking passage. This can be caused by damage or erosion of the fitting around the drainage or toilet pipes.
If the resulting puddle was found around the bathroom vanity or in front of the kitchen sink, then it is most likely a leak or cracks in the pipe that is primarily used to connect those installations to the rising main.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Temporary Fixes
For all of these methods, mark the source of the leak and turn off the water from a water supply valve before proceeding. You want the pipes to be as dry as possible.
These pipe repairs are only temporary before calling your plumber. They only work for very small leaks. For larger gaps or holes, immediately turn off the water supply to this part of the house and contact a specialist.
Regardless of which leaking pipe repair solution you choose, make sure you shut down the plumbing system to that area and test it.
Once the water is turned off, clean and dry the small leak in your pipe.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Sleeve Clamps
A more permanent solution would be the sleeve clamp shaped like a tube to fit around the pipe and distributing the pressure and surface areas.
Make sure the sleeve clamp fits snugly into the pipe. Most sleeve clamps have screws or bolts that tighten the clamp around the pipes.
Place a thick blanket (thick rubber) around the tube before tightening the clamp. You can find specific metal pipe clamps in your local hardware store.
Make sure you mark the diameter of the pipe for the clamp on the right sleeve. Both the C-clamp and the sleeve clamp works to detect leakage temporarily. Consult a specialist if you need larger dimensions.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Hose Clamp
An alternative to the sleeve clamp, to be specially fitted for a specific pipe size is a hose clamp. These are more flexible and handy than sleeve clamps, as they can be used for most tube sizes. It is very advisable to use no 12 and 16 for water pipe.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Hose Clamps
If you do not have other solutions, you can use a C clamp to temporarily stop a leak in the pipe. It is not always recommended, it can clamp copper and PVC pipe.
When using a clamp and a rubber blanket, make sure you are working on a steel tube. To reduce the risk of pinching the pipe, use two pieces of cork and two pieces of rubber.
- Dry the area very well.
- Place the rubber over the leak with another rubber pad on the other side.
- Use a C-clamp with two cork or pieces of wood between the clamp heads.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Plastic Tape
You can temporarily stop or slow the leaking of holes on copper or PVC pipes with electrical tape. Wrap the insulating tape layers on all sides of the leak at a distance of three inches. Overlap the electrical band with each revolution.
Emergency Pipe Repair: Epoxy
If the leak occurs in an unusual area of the pipeline, eg. For example, near pipe joints and turns, use epoxy putty to temporarily seal the leak.
- Be sure that the pipe is completely dry.
- Mix the epoxy by following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Apply the putty generously and around the leak.
- You can wrap tape around the epoxy to shape and hold it.
- Wait until the epoxy filler hardens.
- Place a room heater nearby to speed up the curing process.
If the connection of your pipeline is leaking, you must use an epoxy filler around the steel connection where the two parts are joined.
Leaks can come from a variety of causes, and some cannot be resolved with an emergency patch. Pipes can split, break and corrode, and if they have been in use for a long time, even the best patchwork will not work.
In all situations where corrosion has occurred, it is safe to say that anything in the water that corrodes a cast iron, copper or steel pipe will also eat through your patch.
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