A leaking pipe is not only annoying but can also cause costly damage if left unattended. Sometimes, a plumber may be out of reach. Take for example, you discover a leak in the middle of the night.
You will be forced to wait until dawn to get the help you require. Therefore, learning a few plumbing tips can hold off the losses and inconveniences brought about by leaking pipes.
Keeping in mind the emergency nature of a water pipe gone bad, we have compiled simple steps of salvaging the situation. Brace yourself for some easy-to-do pointers on how to repair a leaking pipe with water in it.
Determine The Location Of The Leak
The first step to take will be to find the leakage. This should not be hard as it will be quite evident; there will be a splurge of water or maybe just wet surfaces that should otherwise be dry.
Sometimes the leak could be behind a wall or ceiling. Hopefully, you won’t have to encounter such. There are two main cases that will be encountered:
- A leak at a joint
- A leak along the pipe
A Leak At A Joint
Leaks can occur at the joints, but a slight tightening of the faulty joint is all it takes to fix it. However, you need to be careful as tampering with the pipes with water in them might lead to misalignment of the system, and this will create even more leaks.
Plumbers are thorough when working with joints because they do not want to be called back. This is especially true with threaded joints. Therefore, to get you at that kind of level, here is what you need:
- Teflon tape
- Piping compound
Threaded joints rely on friction to create a tight grip. However, when it comes to fixing the pipe, this friction works against it. The surface needs some form of lubricant for an easy and firm fit.
This is why it is necessary to apply Teflon tape and the piping compound inside the threads. It is not so much to create a tight seal but for the smooth screwing of the pipes. The direction of applying these two components should always be clockwise. Otherwise, you will undo the layer once you start fitting the pipe.
Once you have hand-tightened the pipe, use a wrench to give it an even tighter seal. However, be moderate with the turns not to displace the rest of the pipes from their position.
This is where the pliers come in handy. Remember, the piping system is in parts, and we do not want to disrupt the positioning of the other pipes and create even more problems than we had to begin with.
A Leak Along The Pipe With Water In It
These come in two forms:
- Small holes and cracks
- Large holes and cracks
Concealing Small Holes And Cracks
The solution to this would be to block the hole or crack causing the leakage. There are different DIYs for this. However, we’ll cover three main components that you can easily apply to the damaged section to hold out the leak.
Apply wrap and seal pipe burst tape
Burst tape is made from self-fusing silicone that can seal live leaks on pipes without turning off the water. It can work on copper, galvanized, PVC and many other pipes. The tape can stretch by 300% its length and after applying it.
The tape fuses to form a mass of silicone over the damaged area, sealing it through compression. Multiple wrapping of the tape is most likely to help your pipe withstand the pressure of up to 30bar and temperatures of about 200o.
The tape is easy and safe to use on piped drinking water. Therefore, depending on the pressure and the size of your pipe, it can only take you about 15 minutes to get the job done. You can follow these simple DIY steps to repair your leaking pipe.
- Place the waterproof tape near the damaged area.
- With the center line acting as your guide, stretch the tape to its maximum.
- Wrap the whole tape around the damaged area of the pipe.
Apply A Pipe Clamp
Another easy fix will be the use of a pipe clamp on the leaking pipe with water in it. Choose a pipe clamp that is the size of the faulty pipe. Pipe clamps use rubber gaskets to create the tight seal needed.
Place the gasket over the hole with care. We want to make sure that it is completely covered. Fix the clamp over the pipe and secure it with bolts. Tighten the bolts with a wrench. This again is a quick fix. Another temporary solution to save the day is to use a rubber tube and pipe clamp.
Large Holes Or Crack
This method offers you one of the friendly DIY ways of permanently repairing your leaking pipe. To effectively accomplish the task at hand, you only need three things: a fitting, sleeve, and retainer nut. To install one:
- Cut out the leaking area.
- Slip on both couplings and the new piece of pipe.
- Apply pipe dope on the sleeve for smooth screwing.
- Tighten the retainer nut using appropriate wrenches. The retainer nut squeezes the sleeve located between the fitting and the pipe, thereby completely sealing the leak.
- Avoid overtightening of the nut to prevent deformity and subsequent leaks.
Use A Slip Coupling
This method should be applied to bigger holes and cracks, and it can serve as a permanent repair.
Slip couplings are used in the connection of two different pipes. One of their most important properties is that they are watertight.
To get it right:
- Order a coupling that is similar in size and material of your pipe. Thus if you have a PVC or copper pipe with a particular diameter, then the slip coupling should also have the same features.
- Mark out the slip coupling length you will need. This should be at the point of the leak to the point where the pipe connects to another. Use a marker pen for this purpose. Cutting out the correct length of the pipe ensures the right fit and fix.
- Use a pipe cutter to cut the faulty section of the pipe. Pipe cutters are smooth and precise. Make sure you leave a good amount allowance for the fitting of the coupling. Do not cut the pipe too close or far from the leak. An inch away is a good enough space.
- Deburr the inside and outside of the pipe. There is a special tool for doing this. The essence is to reshape the pipe after the cut.
- The final step is to set the coupling aligned between the two pipes. Depending on the manual instructions, the coupling might need or not the tightening by a wrench.
This is a delicate process. If you are not comfortable cutting your own pipe, then it is best to contact a plumber.
Stopping Leaking Pipe With Water In It – Conclusion
A leaky pipe is unavoidable. Why? Nothing lasts forever, and a day comes when pipes can no longer serve you right. This should not be a cause of alarm because we have got you covered. Fold your sleeve and fix that problem.
You don’t have to cut off the water supply. All you have to do is to follow these simple DIY steps. Remember, the location and the type of the leak will determine the method and materials needed to fix the problem. However, for a permanent solution, you should call a plumber.