What should you do if you have a pipe leak or a burst pipe? The reasonable answer would be to call a licensed professional plumber. But, what if one is not available? What should you do if there is no 24-hour emergency plumber in your area? Well, the last thing that you would want to do is to panic. So here are some temporary emergency pipe repair tips that you can count on in case you find yourself in a bind.
Regardless whether you are doing temporary repairs for the short-term or for a longer time, the first step is to always cut off the water supply to prevent further damage and losses. You will also need to relieve the pressure in the pipes by draining it. You will need to turn on the lowest point faucet in your home so all the water goes in that direction. When no more water is coming out of the faucet you need to clean the damaged section of the pipe by wiping it dry.
After completing this process and ensuring that the main shutoff valve is completely turned off, you can now begin the temporary emergency pipe repair. There are two kinds of temporary repair you can do, short-term and long-term.
Pinhole leaks are some of the most common problems that you may encounter. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most neglected until the pinholes have become a bigger problem. A simple temporary repair for pinholes involves an ordinary graphite pencil.
Jab the sharpened side of the pencil in the pinhole and break it off. To make sure that it stays in place wrap the pipe with duct tape several times. Turn the water supply back on to test for leaks. This should give the plumber enough time to get to your home and do permanent repairs.
With bigger leaks you need to use epoxy putty to plug the source of the leak. It is better to put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands before you apply the putty. Slowly work the putty into the hole and the area around it. Flatten and smoothen the epoxy with a putty knife. To get the right result make sure that you read the directions. After at least an hour check for leaks and if necessary apply another layer of putty.
Instead of putty you can also use hose clamps to temporarily plug up bigger sources of leaks. Put a patch of rubber on the hose and hold it place with the hose clamps. Make sure that you tighten the clamp just right to prevent the leak but not damage pipe. The number of clamps you need would depend on the size of the pipe you need to patch up.
If you want to spend a little extra you can buy a pipe repair clamp. This is similar to the hose clamp and rubber patch solution except that this commercial product comes with a plate that goes directly over the hole and held in place with screws. When the pipes are in good condition this product can also be used as a permanent solution.
You can also use a C-clamp and a piece of rubber. The rubber goes over the damaged section of the pipe and a block of wood is placed on top of the rubber. The wood spreads the pressure and prevents the pipe from collapsing. Tighten the clamp to seal the leak. Depending on the condition of the pipe, you may need another piece of wood to stabilize it. Check for leaks. Continue to tighten the clamp or reposition the patch if the leak is not stopped.
Let’s be clear, long-term is not the same as permanent solution. This only means that if you are caught with a plumbing problem over the weekend and the fastest a professional plumber can get to you is after 2 to 3 days, then this is what you need.
For this type of repair you will need a commercially available repair kit. This makes use of specialized tape made from resin-permeated fiberglass. To make this emergency pipe repair work it needs a curing time of about 40 to 90 minutes. Make sure that the surface is prepared based on the instructions on the kit. Activate the repair kit with water.
These temporary emergency pipe repairs are great solutions, but in most cases the best solution for pipe repairs is to replace the damaged section. Call a licensed professional plumber from newportbeach-plumber.com immediately for assistance.