Before You Call a Plumber: How to Stop a Leaky Pipe

How to Stop a Leaky Pipe

It’s a situation every Vancouver homeowner fears. A pipe in your house has begun to leak. A moment of hesitation could result in irreversible damage to your home and possessions.  Before you call the plumber you need to stop the leak. Don’t worry; MidCity Plumbers is here to walk you through the steps so you can fix a leaky pipe before any damage is done. The first step is to turn off the water valve to prevent any more water from flowing to the leak. If the leak is to a faucet you may be able to turn off the water for the faucet alone. The water shut-off valve is usually located under the sink. If the leak is coming from a pipe and you are unsure of its origin or its best to turn off the water to the whole house.  Your water shut-off valve should be located in your basement above any washbasin.

Once you have shut the water off you need to turn on any faucets connected to the leaky pipe. This will ensure that all of the water is out of the pipes. Next you need to wipe the pipe dry with a towel or rag. A wet pipe may inhibit any compounds or sealants you may use from adhering. Now you can repair the leak. There are many useful tools out there to help fix leaks available at any hardware store in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland.

One of the best and most widely used options is an epoxy compound. Like a cement, epoxy compounds can be applied anywhere on a pipe. They go on as a liquid and then harden, patching up your leak until you can replace the pipe.  Another option is a pipe wrap. These wraps work in a similar way to epoxy. These are great for all types of leaks and cracks as they can be doubled over, which makes them great for larger cracks and holes.  These two options can be used for both copper and black ABS plumbing.

If you’re dealing with smaller leaks , an easy option are pipe clamps. Pipe clamps are metal rings that are placed around the pipe and then tightened with a screwdriver.  You may want to first cover the hole with some plumbers tape to help ensure a solid seal.  While not 100% effective they will help reduce any further water from leaking, giving you enough time to call your plumber.  An option similar to the pipe clamp is a repair sleeve which cover are larger surface area, perfect for small cracks.  These two can also be used for both copper and PVC plumbing.

Leaks originating from a connecting joint in your pipes can be a bit more tricky as it may be more difficult to see precisely where the leak is coming from. Again, an epoxy or pipe wrap will be your best bet as you can simply apply it to the entire connection.

After you complete your temporary repairs,  clean the surface of any additional moisture that may have accumulated. If you have chosen the epoxy, wait for it to completely dry before your final wipe. It is now a good idea  to cover the area with waterproof plumbers tape to ensure no water will escape. Once you finish, turn your water back on and double check your work.

While helpful, these steps are in no way a permanent solution to your leak.  These steps will help minimize the damage and allow you time to call the plumbing experts at Midcity Plumbers. We are available 24/7 to help with any plumbing emergencies!

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