To prevent further water damage to your home, it is a good idea to patch a leaky pipe until you can have a plumber come fix the problem. Patching the pipe can temporarily stop the leak and prevent further water damage.
How to Patch a Leaky Pipe
Step 1: Shut off the water.
You need to stop the flow of water in the pipe. If the pipe is under a sink and above the shutoff valve, you can turn it off here. Otherwise, if it is before the shut off valve or in any area of the home where there is not one, you will need to shut off the water at the water main. For drain lines, simply stop water from flowing down the drain.
Step 2: Drain the pipe.
Once the water is turned off, turn on the faucet nearest the leak. If you shut off water to the entire home, turn on multiple faucets. Your goal is to drain out as much water as possible from the damaged pipe.
If the leak is in a location where you can live without using water until after it is repaired, then you do not have to patch the pipe. If the leak is in an area where there was not a shutoff valve and you will need to run water, then you will need to patch the pipe.
Step 3: Patch the pipe using an appropriate method.
There are several different methods you can use to patch the leak, depending on its location. If it is not at a joint or connection, one method is to use an epoxy repair kit. Epoxy is a soft substance like modeling clay that you apply around the pipe.
Once applied and exposed to air, it will harden after a period of time. DO NOT turn the water back on until the epoxy is fully hardened. To help hold the epoxy in place, you can use a rubber pipe wrap and removable clamps.
For bigger leaks, you may need to use a combination of rubber pipe covers, pipe tape, and epoxy. All of these products are normally available at your local home improvement store. Remember to verify the patching materials you buy are compatible with your pipes.
For leaks around joints and pipe connections, one possible solution is to use pipe tape, as long as you can get it easily into the joint or around the connection. You could also use a combination of epoxy and pipe tape.
Step 4: Call your plumber.
Schedule repair of the leaky pipe with your plumber. Since you already patched the leak, you can avoid an emergency service call. Until your plumber arrives, check the pipe every few hours to ensure your patch job is holding and the leak has not returned.
Please keep in mind, patching the pipe does not solve the problem, and it will still need to be repaired. To have a leaky pipe fixed or for other plumbing problems, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-603-9949 today!