3 Cheap, Temporary Fixes For Leaking Pipes You Can Do Yourself

Posted on: 5 January 2015

If you discover you have a leaking pipe, it may have come at a time when you cannot immediately call a plumber to fix it. If so, you may decide to try to temporarily fix it yourself. Below are three cheap patches you can place on copper, iron, and PVC pipes that will contain the problem for the time being. 

Epoxy Glue And Duct Tape For Copper Pipes

When you copper pipe has sprung a leak, epoxy glue will fill in the hole while fusing with the duct tape to create a seal. Also known as welding glue, the epoxy will form an almost indestructible bond between the metal and tape. 

After turning off your home's main water valve, use a dry cloth to wipe the area around the leak. Once it is completely dry, apply the epoxy glue directly on the hole.

Apply a two-inch by two-inch piece of duct tape over the glue while it is still wet. Do this as quickly as you can since epoxy will set-up and dry within a few minutes.

Use your fingers to hold the duct tape in place for two minutes. Then, turn the water back on and check for any leaks around the edges of the tape. If you see any, repeat the process above on the leaking area.

Beer Can And Hose Clamps For Iron Pipes

If the leak is coming from an iron pipe, you can create a patch using an aluminum can and two hose clamps. A beer can is slightly thicker than a soda pop can and will create a better patch. You will also need a utility knife and plumber's glue for this fix.

Using the utility knife, carefully cut off the top and bottom of the can. Then, make a cut down one side and open it up. Wrap the can around the pipe to make sure you have at least an inch of the can overlapping.

Remove the can and apply a thick line of plumber's glue a quarter of an inch from the edge all the way around. Re-wrap the can around the pipe and hold it tightly for two minutes.

Remove the screws from both hose clamps and place one at each end of the can. They should be placed a half of an inch from the edges. Reinsert the screws and hand tighten them.

After a half hour, turn the water on and check for any leaks. Apply more plumber's glue under the can at any spot that is still leaking.

Plumber's Putty And Plastic Wrap For PVC Pipes

When the leak is coming from one of your PVC pipes, use plumber's putty to fill in the hole. The plastic wrap will keep the putty in place and create an additional seal. You will also need duct tape for this repair job.

Use your fingers to fill the hole with the putty. Apply enough so it is raised a quarter of an inch from the pipe. It should also create a half inch radius around the leak.

Wrap the area around the putty with the plastic wrap until you have three layers. Then, wrap the ends of the wrap with duct tape, as well as the seam across the patch.

Let the putty set up for an hour before turning the water back on. If any leaks are found, repeat the process above at any open spots.

Although the above fixes will stop water from leaking out of your pipes, they will not last forever. You may want to contact a plumbing service as soon as possible to discuss your options for a permanent solution.