How To: Fix a Leaky Pipe

It’s a widely known and generally accepted fact:
Adulting ain’t no jolly walk in the park.

Ask anyone who’s had to move out of their parents’ house, gotten a utility bill in the mail, or purchased a vacuum cleaner.

But nothing screams “adulting” quite like a burst pipe in your apartment. Not only is it a major hassle and a setback to your weekend Netflix binge-watching plans, but it can also cause serious damage to your home. Worse still, a leaky pipe, if left unattended, can really jack up your water bill!

The struggle is real, I know, but fret not. Put your favorite ratty shirt on, tie your hair up, keep calm, and read on for a quick guide on how to fix that pesky leak.


What You’ll Need to Get the Job Done:

– A rag, towel, or any old piece of cloth (an ex’s old shirt highly recommended)
– Epoxy and Putty Knife (a dynamic duo – like the Epoxy-Sci’s Instant Install Epoxy and the Red Devil Putty Knife )
– Rubber and Clamp (also a killer combo – like the Bessey Pipe Clamp)
– Water-resistant tape

 

Step 1: Shut off the water source and fully drain the pipe.

Instantly stop the leak by turning off the valve that controls the flow of water into the damaged pipe. To ensure the pipe is empty before you start working on it, drain it of any leftover water by turning on the faucet and keeping it on until it runs empty.

 

Step 2: Use a piece of cloth or a towel to wipe the damaged pipe dry.

Don’t get any work done until you’re sure the damaged pipe is no longer wet from all that leaking.. Still have your ex’s old shirt? Now’s the best time to repurpose it.

 

Step 3: Apply epoxy to the damaged area using a putty knife.

It’s time to get this dynamic duo to work. Using epoxy to repair leaks is ideal for inexperienced home repair noobs because it’s relatively easy to apply and requires minimal effort and time. It’s also pretty inexpensive and won’t make a noticeable dent on your budget. Just stick (pun intended) to the instructions written on the packaging of your epoxy product of choice and you should be fine.
As additional preparation before applying epoxy on the pipe, you can use a piece of sandpaper to rub the damaged area of the pipe. This removes rust and other residue and prepares the surface of the pipe for the application of the epoxy (in the same the way you use primer on your face before you apply makeup).

 

Step 4: Use rubber and a clamp to cover and secure the damaged area of the pipe
Make sure the entire damaged area of the pipe is covered with rubber before securing it with a clamp. Wait for an hour before proceeding to the final step.

 

Step 5: Add another layer of protection with water-resistant tape
Check on the rubber to see if it has completely set and dried. Afterwards, cover the rubber with water-resistant tape as an extra layer of protection to prevent future leaks. Once you are satisfied with your handiwork, turn the water valve back on and check the repaired area to see if the leak has been completely sealed.


How to Prevent Leaky Pipes in the Future

There’s no way to predict if a pipe in your home will burst, but there are a few ways to at least try to prevent it from happening:

Regularly check on the plumbing of your home or apartment. Get at least a basic understanding of how the plumbing in your house works. Ask a knowledgeable friend for help or hire a plumber to inspect.

Be mindful of the pipes in your kitchen and bathroom as well as the different conditions that can affect them and cause damage. Water pressure and a change in the temperature of the water that flows through the pipes can lead to a pipe bursting.

You don’t need to be an expert to fix a leaky pipe. A little knowledge, the right home renovation tools, and a can-do attitude towards keeping your home in tip-top shape are all you need. Don’t let unpleasant surprises like a leaky pipe ruin your day. Take that, adulting!

 

 

Feeling handy? Don’t stop now!

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