Waking up the middle of the night to water running when it shouldn’t or coming home after work to find your bathroom has flooded is scary. When this happens you’re probably going to be on the phone, right away to a plumbing company to get someone to your house to fix the leak.
But what if they can’t come out for a couple hours or maybe even until the next morning? What do you do when you have a leak but the plumber won’t be there for a while? Here are some tips for stopping the leak until a plumber can repair your pipe.
Turn off the Main Water Valve
This one is the most obvious, but you might not think of it when there’s a lot of water leaking into your home. If possible, turn off the water. While it means you won’t be able to use to other faucets, you may be able to avoid further damage especially if it’s a large leak. It’s important to know how to turn off the water in your home, so before this becomes an issue you should familiarize yourself with the water shut off(s) in your home.
Get a Pipe Wrap to Fix a Leaky Pipe
Pipe wraps are not a permanent solution if you have a leaking pipe, but they can help to stop the water from causing further damage in your home until a plumber can arrive and provide a permanent fix. You can buy a pipe tape from your local home improvement store. These wraps are good for both leaks at pipe joints and mid-pipe leaks. The wrap is made of fiberglass, which is wrapped tightly around the pipe. Then when the pipe gets wet, the wrap will shrink and harden to the pipe as it dries causing the leak to stop. These wraps can last a couple days, up to a couple weeks if necessary. But again, they are not meant to be a permanent solution.
Epoxy is a very strong glue that can help to stop a leak. Keeping plumber’s epoxy in your home repair kit, especially if you don’t have a pipe wrap, is always a great idea. To use this, just turn off the water and wipe the area on the pipe around the leak clean. Then mix the two-part epoxy and apply to the area. If you have plumber’s tape in your house, you can wrap that on top of the epoxy for good measure. It can take up to 24 hours for epoxy to fully cure, so it’s a good idea to leave the water off for some time just to make sure the glue is completely dried and the water isn’t going to leak around it.
Using Plumbing Tape on Water Pipes
Plumbing tape is made of silicone, and it can be especially helpful if the leak is at the joint of two pipes. If you’re using repair tape, you first need to turn off the water and wipe the pipe clean to ensure the tape will stick to it. If the leak is a small one, like a pinhole, you can wrap several layers around the area. If it’s at a joint, you’ll need to wrap the joint from both sides to ensure you’ve covered the area. Repair tape will only last a couple days though so it’s only recommended to use if you know for sure that a plumber is coming on a certain day otherwise you may find yourself with water leaking through the tape.
It’s important to remember that all these solutions are really only temporary solutions and you need to call a master plumber to actually fix the leak permanently so you don’t cause more damage to your home in the long run.