Top Tips on How to Fix a Leaking Water Pipe

What should you do if you discover a leaking water pipe in your home? The first thing to do is determine whether the leak is due to damage to the pipe. If the water is leaking from a joint, you can repair it by tightening the joint. Otherwise, make sure that the leaking water is not caused by sweating or condensation on the pipe, which can occur when the water in the pipe is much colder than the surrounding air. Once you have determined that there really is a leak in the pipe, you can take measures to temporarily or permanently repair it.

Temporary Repairs for Leaking Water Pipes

  • Turn off the water supply to the pipe.
  • You can purchase a patch kit for fixing leaking water pipes from most hardware stores. It consists of a rubber pad that you place over the damaged part of the pipe and fix in place by metal plates that you screw tightly around the rubber.
  • You can also use a piece of garden hose or other thick rubber material, fastened tightly with C-clamps or hose clamps in a similar way.
  • Waterproof tape wrapped around the damaged area can make an effective temporary fix. If there is a large enough hole in the pipe, plug it with something such as a pencil then wrap it around with tape.
  • You can use epoxy putty to seal up a hole or crack in a water pipe. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to mix and apply the putty. Make sure you dry the surface well before applying the putty, and leave it long enough to dry before allowing water to flow through the pipe again.
  • You can also use a compound stick, available at most hardware stores, to repair very small leaks.

Permanent Repair for Leaking Water Pipes

  • Turn off the water supply to the pipe.
  • Remove the leaking section of pipe and replace it. This is more complicated than it sounds. How you do it depends on the type of water pipe. Specialist plumbing tools and equipment are required. If you haven't got these already, it is unlikely that you have the DIY skills to complete the job, in which case...this could be a job that is better left to a professional plumber.

A leaking water pipe can cause a lot of damage and inconvenience. Make sure you know how to turn off the water supply in your home to limit the damage, and keep the number of a reputable plumber where you can find it easily in an emergency. It is a good idea to keep a patch kit at home to stop the leak and use your water supply while you wait for a more permanent solution to the problem.

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