How to Fix a Leaking Pipe in Your House
A pipe leakage is a common plumbing issue in older houses that can cause severe damage to drywall, wood flooring, furniture, carpet, and electronics. To prevent damage to your belongings, it’s important to deactivate your water supply. You may also want to consider performing a quick do-it-yourself repair to fix the leaking pipe while you’re waiting for a licensed plumber to arrive. Below we’ve outlined various methods that can be used to fix a leaking pipe in your home.
Apply Adhesive Putty
Deactivate the Water Supply
A pipe leak beneath a kitchen or bathroom sink can be temporarily fixed by utilizing an adhesive putty. This is a sticky substance that can be applied to the exterior of a pipe on top of a crack or small hole to prevent water from escaping. Prior to applying the putty to fix the leaking pipe, deactivate the water supply to your home. To stop the leak, you will be required to drain the remaining water.
Grab a Bucket & Drain the Remaining Water in the Leaking Pipe
Prior to draining the broken pipe, grab a bucket to place underneath it to protect your cabinet and flooring. Once the water is sufficiently removed from the cracked line, grab a towel to dry the exterior of the pipe. This will help the adhesive putty stick to the pipe beneath your kitchen or bathroom sink.
Apply the Adhesive Putty to Stop the Leaking Pipe
Next, grab a sufficient amount of putty to cover the exposed crack to fix the leaking pipe. Prior to applying the putty to the pipe, use your hands to press, stretch, and fold the putty to ensure it is flexible enough to stick to the damaged pipe. With moderate force, apply the adhesive putty to the leaking pipe.
Activate the Water Supply & Test the Sink
Once the putty has been applied to the pipe, wait a couple of minutes prior to activating the water supply in your home. After the water has been activated, try using the kitchen or bathroom sink to confirm the leaking pipe is fixed. It’s important to remember that this is only a temporary solution to stop the pipe from leaking. To prevent a leak in the future, you should call a licensed plumber to perform a pipe replacement or repair.
Wrap Fiberglass Tape Around the Pipe
Turn off the Water Supply
Another excellent way to stop a leaking pipe or pipe joint is to apply fiberglass tape to the exposed area. Prior to wrapping the tape around the leaking pipe, deactivate the water supply in your house. Next, grab a pan or bucket to place near the pipe leakage to collect the remaining water.
Tightly Wrap the Fiberglass Tape Around the Pipe or Joint
Once the broken pipe is empty, use a paper towel or kitchen towel to dry the exposed pipe or pipe joint. Grab the fiberglass tape and wrap it around the wall of the pipe or exposed joint. Stretch the tape while you are applying it to the leaking pipe to ensure it is tight and secure.
Depending on the water pressure, this fix may stop the pipe leak for a long or short amount of time. We recommend hiring a local plumber in your area to perform a permanent repair to the leaking pipe. In some cases, a certified technician may recommend installing a new water or drainage line behind your walls or beneath your sink if the leak is too severe to fix.
Insert a Rubber Pad & Metal Plates Over the Pipe
Deactivate the Water Supply Prior to Applying the Rubber Padding
The local hardware store may also have pipe leakage kits that are designed to temporarily fix a leaking pipe. These kits include rubber padding and metal plates that are engineered to be applied to the pipe. Prior to beginning this do-it-yourself project, deactivate the water supply. Next, use a dry rag to remove excess water from the wall of the pipe.
Insert the Rubber Pad Over the Crack or Hole
Once the pipe is dry, insert the rubber padding over the crack or hole to fix the leaking water or drainage pipe. Next, grab the metal plates from the pipe leakage kit and embed them over the rubber pad. The plates are designed to increase the pressure of the rubber pad over the crack on the leaking pipe. While the instructions of this kit may claim this will permanently fix the leaking pipe, this is inaccurate.
To prevent further damage to the flooring and drywalls in your house, you will be required to contact a licensed plumber to perform a permanent repair. Depending on the age of the pipe and its material, a professional may recommend repiping the entire affected area behind your wall to prevent leaks from forming in the future.
Other Ways to Temporarily Stop a Leaking Pipe
Other ways to fix a small leak in a water or sewer line include installing a tapping plug into the hole or using a composite stick. If you’re using a composite stick, gently rub the stick over the crack or hole to stop water leakage. While the instructions may indicate its safe to apply the stick while your water is on, we recommend deactivating your water prior to applying it to ensure the adhesive is able to dry over the hole or crack.
There is No Permanent Solution to Fix a Corroded Leaking Pipe
While it may be possible to patch a small leak, one or more new leaks will begin to form on the old water or sewer line as it begins to reach the end of its lifespan. If a leak begins to form due to corrosion, other areas of the pipe may begin to deteriorate in the future. This will cause medium to large pipe leaks and damage to your house. If your pipe is beginning to corrode, it’s best to be proactive and hire a professional plumber to perform a repiping project. This will consist of removing the damaged section of the pipe and installing a brand new line.
Not All Water Damage is Caused by Leaking Pipes
Damp drywall and wet flooring is not always a sign of a pipe leak. Prior to having an anxiety attack, we recommend checking your thermostat to confirm the humidity levels in your house. When the humidity levels become too high, a thin layer of condensation will begin to form on the exterior of the pipes behind your walls or ceiling. As the moisture continues to grow, the water will begin to drip and cause damage.
A way to fix this problem is to monitor the humidity levels in your house. If you encounter high humidity during the summer months, activate your central air conditioning system to remove excess moisture from your house. You may also want to consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. However, the best way to eliminate excess condensation on a pipe is to have a professional insulate the pipes.
Repiping & Plumbing Services in Jacksonville, FL
If you notice a leak on the wall of your pipe or near a pipe joint, call our team of licensed plumbers by phone at 904-217-5694 or book an appointment online. Depending on the severity of the leak, we may recommend repiping the affected location or performing a small repair. The technicians at Fenwick Home Services are also able to install pipe insulation to your water lines to prevent damage to drywall caused by condensation and high humidity levels. Our team provides water line repair and installation services in Jacksonville and other areas of Florida. Fenwick Home Services also offers other plumbing solutions such as water heater repair, drain cleaning, sump pump installation, and sewer line repair. Contact our team today to receive immediate assistance with a plumbing problem.