Toilets, tubs and sinks are some of the fixtures were most plumbing issues happen. However, at times the plumbing problems occur because of the pipes themselves. The pipes tend to leak, sweat or freeze.
Plumbing leaks are of various types. Some can cause flooding and extensive damage to your home, while others are not that much devastating. When it comes to fixing a leaking plumbing pipe, you need to consider the kind of leak it has. If you notice the leak is coming from a joint, tighten that joint. If you find that the leak is in a section of the pipe, then you have to replace the leaking section with a new one.
Regrettably, in reality, the task of fixing plumbing pipes is not that easy to accomplish. For instance, if you try to unscrew a threaded steel pipe to get it out of its fitting at one end, you actually end up tightening the pipe into the fitting located at its other end. In case of copper pipes, you have to sweat-soldered them at the ends. Therefore, it is best to leave the tasks of fixing plumbing pipes to a professional plumber. However, you can take certain measures to fix the leaks by yourself during an emergency situation.
Turn off the water at your main water supply valve before carrying out the repairs. Next, to cover the crack or hole in your pipe, you will require a piece of material to make a patch. Any heavy-gauge rubber material, such as the inner tube, is best for patching pipes. Alternately, you can use a flexible leather piece from an old belt or purse. You can also use a PVC pipe, if available. Make sure that the diameter of PVC pipe and the pipe you are going to patch is roughly the same. Take a piece of PVC pipe and cut it along its length to create a section that can be snapped over the leaking pipe. Ensure that any patch you use is bigger than the crack in the broken pipe.
You will need band clamps of appropriate size or locking pliers to hold the patch in place. Put the patch over the crack or hole. If you are using band clamps to secure the patch, wrap them over the patch placed on the pipe. Preferably, use three band clamps to patch the pipe. Wrap two band clamps around the two ends of the patch and the third one over the point of leak directly. Tighten all of them to stop the leak.
In case you are going to use locker pliers, simply close them around the patch and broken pipe, and then tighten them with your hands.
Turn on the water supply and make certain that the patch is working properly. Hire the services of a professional and licensed plumber for permanent repairs as the leaks tend to get worse over the time.