How to Patch A Leaky Pipe While You Wait For a Plumber
While we at McHales love to see the DIY spirit, somethings just require a professional touch. Leaky pipes are a prime example. When water is coming out of anything but your faucet or shower head, it’s going to take more than a little duct tape to fix the problem in a meaningful way and that’s where we come in. And while our response times are among the fastest in the biz, we can’t teleport directly to your home. Meanwhile, you still have a leaky pipe, which can lose as much as 250 gallons of water through a 1/8 inch crack. While they aren’t permanent fixes, there are some band-aid solutions you can apply to stop the flow temporarily. Here are some easy things you can do to hold down the fort while you wait for the cavalry to come.
You’re probably already familiar with these types of products since they’re widely available at most hardware stores. Basically, it’s a chemical compound that starts out soft and hardens over time after application to a leak. Think of it like putting some water resistant glue over the hole. They can be relied on for a few weeks, but you still need a plumber to come out and fix the issue once and for all. A temporary solution, but an easy one for the average person to access and deal with. There’s a lot of different brands out there, but for our money, here are some of the ones we recommend:
- Flex Paste
- J-B Weld Epoxy Adhesive
- Oatey Fix-It Stick
- Gorilla Epoxy Adhesive
Literally a band-aid solution. These are exactly what they sound like: tape you put around your pipes to stem the flow of water. Pipe tapes are most commonly made from resin impregnated fiberglass/PVC tape so they can stand up to the water flowing underneath. It work really well on joints and elbows, which are some of the more common plumbing fixtures that spring leaks in the first place. Since they are essentially heavy duty pieces of tape, they do eventually lose their adhesive quality over time usually in a , but in a pinch, pipe tape can be a life saver for a homeowner trying to stop a leak before a plumber arrives. Here’s a few of our recommended brands:
- Rescue Tape
- F4 Tape
- Blue Monster
- Gorilla Waterproof Tape
Rubber Pipe Connectors
In the event of a major leak at a joint or elbow, a little tape isn’t going to do much for you. Rubber pipe connectors are the thing you’ll need. This remedy is best for leaks that occur around joints or in the middle of water piping. And while it’s much more effective and longer lasting than both epoxies and tapes, it’s a lot more difficult to apply for the average homeowner without extensive plumbing know-how. They may not be the best choice to patch your leaky pipe while waiting for a plumber, we do have some products we tend to recommend for those who it is right for.
- Watts Rubber Fittings
Clamps are another common quick fix while waiting for a plumber. Though more often found in commercial settings, they work just as well holding together a leak in a private home. These pieces of metal are screwed, bolted, wrapped, or otherwise affixed to the pipe, covering the leak. They’re often pretty cheap and easy to apply, so they remain a popular choice among those in need of fast plumbing repairs. And where other products have some variance based on brands, pipe clamps are largely the same no matter which brand you go with. The differences are in the types of clamps, which will vary based on where your leak is and what type/size of pipe you’re dealing with.
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