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DIY Plumbing: How To Stop Leaky Pipes For Beginners

Leaky pipes can be a big problem, and if you haven't tried any DIY plumbing before you may find yourself in a panic until you can call a plumber to help you permanently fix the problem. In this post, we will show you how you can stop a leaky pipe, even if you have never attempted any plumbing before, and prevent any serious water damage. Once you have located the leak, shut off the water, and applied a temporary repair clamp, you will need to call a plumber to actually replace the damaged portion. Contact WaterSmart. All of our plumbers are certified master professionals. You can trust us to repair your leaky pipes quickly and at a reasonable rate.

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How Do I Know If I Have A Leaky Pipe?

A leaky pipe can cause serious water damage in a hurry. A large amount of water can come spraying out of your pipes at an incredibly fast rate.It's usually pretty obvious if a pipe is leaking even if it is enclosed in a wall or above a ceiling.  This is because the water in supply pipes is under extreme pressure (about 50 pounds of pressure per square inch according to Hometips.com). If a leak or breakage occurs, the water will usually spray out with considerable force.

 

How Do I Find The Leak?

 

Not all of your water pipes are visible - some are enclosed inside your walls or above your ceiling. If you notice water dripping or staining the ceiling, then the leak may be directly above you. However, it is important to note that water can travel inside your ceiling and walls and stain a portion that is quite a bit further away from the actual leak. If there are no drips or stains in the ceiling or walls, check the pipes in your basement or crawlspace.

 

Once I Locate The Leaky Pipe, What Should I Do?

 

Step 1: Turn Off The Water Supply That Supplies The Leaky Pipe

 

As soon as you locate the leaky pipe, you need to turn off the water supply that supplies water to that pipe. According to Hometips.com, this is preferable to shutting off the water supply to the entire house, so you can continue to use the water in other parts of your home while the problem pipe is being repaired. If the leak is coming from a faucet, toilet, water heater, or washing machine, look for a shot off faucet connected to the water supply tubes, usually located directly under, behind or close to the fixture. Under a sink, you will find one valve for hot and one for cold water.  Turn the handle clockwise to close the valve. If it is too stiff to turn by hand then try putting on a pair of work gloves or using a pair of slip-joint pliers.

 

If you need to turn off the main water supply to your home, watch the following video for instructions on how to locate and turn it off.

 

Step 2: Make Sure It Is An Actual Leak And Not A Sweaty Pipe

 

Take a close look at the pipe that is leaking to make sure that it is an actual leak and not simply a sweaty pipe. Sometimes pipes can sweat so much that the resulting dripping water may seem like there is a leak somewhere in the pipe. Sweating occurs when the water inside a pipe is a lot colder than the humid air around it. This can happen both in the summer when the air is naturally hotter, and in the winter when the air is heated by a furnace.

 

If you have a sweating pipe you can fix the problem by insulating the pipe. According to Home and Garden, you can do this by applying a self-adhesive thick tape that is specially designed to insulate sweaty pipes. Make sure that you completely dry the pipe before applying this type of tape. Carefully wind the tape around the entire section of pipe that is sweating as well as its fittings. This should solve the sweating problem.

 

Another method to stop a sweaty pipe is to wrap foam around it. Watch the following video for instructions on how to do this.

 

 

Step 3: Apply A Pipe Repair Clamp

 

It is always a good idea to have a pipe repair clamp on hand in case one of your pipes burst. You can buy them at any home improvement store or online. Place the clamp on the pipe according to the instructions. Most pipe repair clamps are applied as follows. Centre the rubber sleeve over the leak in the pipe. Then securely bolt the two-part clamp in place over the sleeve.

 

If you don't have a pipe repair clamp, you can make your own by taking a strip of rubber, perhaps from an old inner tube, and wrapping it around the break in the pipe. Then securely clamp the rubber with an adjustable hose clamp, a pipe=sleeve clamp, or a C-clamp.

 

Watch the following video for step by step instructions on how to apply one brand of pipe repair clamp called Leak Mate.

 

 

Step 4: Call A Plumber

 

This is a temporary fix meant to just stop the leak and prevent any further water damage until you can call a plumber to fix the problem. If your pipe has a break in it, then that section will need to be replaced by a professional plumber or an advanced do-it-yourselfer who is comfortable with cutting and soldering copper piping. The cost of the repair will vary depending on the extent of the damage and the location of the pipe.

 

WaterSmart - The Plumbing Specialists

 

You can trust the fully licensed, professional master plumbers at WaterSmart to fix any plumbing problem you may have. We have been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and surrounding area for over twenty years. We have the know-how and expertise you require. Contact us today for a free estimate.

 

Sources

 

How To Fix Leaky Pipes And Joints

How To Fix Water Pipe Leaks & Problems

How To Shut Off The Water Supply

 

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