Most leaks will occur at the points where pipes are fit together, but it is possible for pipes to burst as well. Bursts in your pipes can happen for a number of reasons, such as corrosion over time, dents in the pipes or freezing.
The tools you will need to fix either a burst or leaking pipe will include a tape measure, screwdriver or nut driver, water-pump pliers, flat metal files and scissors. Materials will include plumber’s epoxy putty, 1/16” thick neoprene rubber or bicycle tube patch, sleeve clamps, hose clamps and dresser couplings. The time to complete this project on your own can be variable based on the severity of the leak and the size of the fracture or burst in the pipe.
A Temporary Solution for Leaking Pipes
This is where your plumber’s epoxy will be sufficient. Begin by turning off the water supply to the particular area of piping you will be working on. Knead the plumber’s epoxy putty and apply the putty to the surface around the leak according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Turn back on your water supply and inspect your work.
The Permanent Solution for Leaking or Burst Pipes
While it may be necessary to use temporary solutions for the time being to prevent water damage to the areas surrounding the pipe, do not assume that it can stand the test of time because it will ultimately fail, leaving you right back where you started. Below, we have provided you with a guided process to permanently fixing your burst or leaking pipes.
Prepare the Surface for a Sleeve Clamp
- Clean the area around the leaking or ruptured portion of the pipe.
- Take your flat metal file and soften any sharp edges that may exist around the leak or rupture that would end up cutting through the patch.
- Use the tape measure to find both the length of the area that needs to be patched and the diameter of the pipe itself.
Cutting the Patch to Fit
- Use your scissors to cut out an appropriately sized piece of either neoprene rubber patch or bicycle tube patch for the type of leak or rupture you are dealing with.
- A one inch square piece of patch will be sufficient for a pinhole sized leak.
- For a ruptured pipe, cut the patch to be an inch wider and longer than the split.
Using Clamps to Seal the Leak
- Begin by wrapping the pipe with the rubber patch you just cut out.
- For smaller leaks, securing the patch with a hose clamp will be sufficient to fix the leak.
- For larger ruptures in your pipes, it may be necessary to install either a dresser coupling or a sleeve clamp.