Leaking pipes in the home can create a mess along with a lot of damage and expense. However, sometimes it is difficult to know where the leak originated. How do you stop a leaking pipe? Besides turning off the water in the home first, the other ways are using epoxy putty, a pipe repair kit with tape, and patch and clamp. Unfortunately, these are temporary fixes and in the end, you will need to replace the pipe.
We will look at why you need to know how to stop a leaking pipe, three ways to stop it, fixing other areas of the home that have leaks, how to know when you have a leak, and when to call a professional.
Why You Need to Know How to Stop a Leaking Pipe
As mentioned above, water leaking from a pipe can cause a lot of damage in the home so finding where the pipe is leaking is important. Sometimes it might be in a wall or it might be under a sink for example. Stopping the leak until you can get a professional to visit and fix the leak is important. Many professionals can use infrared thermography to find it for you as well!
3 Ways to Stop a Leaking Pipe
1. Expoxy Putty
This is a substance that hardens at room temperature and can be used as an adhesive to fill a space. You want to make sure you buy the type that is made for pipes. This can be used over the source of the leak to temporarily stop it.
First, you will turn off the water for that area at the water valve closest to the pipe. If it is a sink, toilet, clothes washer, or bathtub (and exposed pipes), the valve is close to the appliance. However, it might be better to turn off the water for the entire house. If you are not sure where the main water valve is, it is usually on the perimeter of the home, or locate the property inspection report to find it.
Next, you will drain the water that is in that line and dry it. It must be dry to put the epoxy on it.
Then, tear off enough epoxy that you need and knead it. This will help with stretching it over the leak.
Read the manufacturer’s directions, and apply the putty over the leak and allow it to cure.
Lastly, after curing, turn the water on and check to see if there is any leaking. If not, that is great and you have put a temporary fix on the pipe.
2. Pipe Repair Kit With Tape
Another option is a pipe repair kit with tape and an easy way to temporarily stop the leak.
To do this, shut off the water supply first
Next, read the directions from the manufacturer for how to activate the fiberglass tape and wrap it around where you see the leak. Do you have a low pressure line? If you do, you can use silicone tape instead
This should be easy to do because of the flexibility of the tape. However, if you need help, contact a professional
3. Patch and Clamp
The third way to repair a leak is with a patch and a clamp
Turn off the water supply and dry the area. File down any sharp edges
Look at the damaged section and apply the repair patch over it and use the clamps to tighten it
Turn the water back on to make sure there are no leaks
Here is a video about additional ways to fix a leaky pipe.
How to Fix Other Areas of the Home That Have a Leaking Pipe
Leaky pipe joints– these can be difficult because of the angle of the joint. However, repair sleeves and rubber pipe connectors can help fix this issue.
Bathtub faucet– maybe the bathtub faucet won’t turn off and the tub is about to overflow! Turn off the water at the main water supply if the pipes are not exposed for the tub. If they are, there should be a handle to turn close to the tub.
Toilet leaking water – if you notice water coming out from the base of the toilet, check the tank lid, T-bolts, and the wax ring.
Water heater– keep up with maintenance with the water heater. Also, if you see water leaking from the drain valve, tighten it and see if that helps. If not, contact a professional.
How Do You Know if You Have a Leak
Before you see the leak, one indicator is that your water bill is higher. Anytime we have a leak, the water bill increases. You can check your water meter, which is by the street or in your backyard and usually has a metal top over it.
When you are checking your yard for other signs, have you seen cracked pavement or bulges in the driveway? Maybe you see sinkholes or potholes in the yard, or air and dirt in the water? If yes, you will need to contact a professional to check if there is a water leak underground. You will need to find out if it is from the sewer line on your property and your responsibility or if it is off the property and the city’s responsibility.
Did you notice there may is mold or mildew in the home or peeling or bubbled paint or even dripping sounds? These could signify that you have a water leak in the walls. It is important to get this checked out right away by a professional.
When to Call a Professional
Call a professional if you suspect you have a leaking pipe. Remember, you may be able to temporarily fix it yourself but it will also require a replacement. If you are not comfortable replacing it on your own, contact a professional. Also, if you have any of the signs above for a leak you cannot see, contact a professional for help.
Moreover, water leaks are frustrating and seem to come out of nowhere. However, if you can catch it early enough, then you can spare a lot of damage in the home and yard. An important takeaway is to make sure you know where the water main shut-off is or the water valves near the appliances. We can inspect your home for water leaks in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas. We use infrared thermography and can find the source for you! Contact us if you are in need of one of our services.