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The Home Depot

Guide to Fixing Leaky Pipes

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Guide to Fixing Leaky Pipes
Guide to Fixing Leaky Pipes

You enter the laundry room with a basket full of dirty clothes and spot a damp patch on the floor caused by a leaking pipe. Leaking pipes are more than just an irritant. Even a small amount of water can damage the flooring or carpeting of your home. Water on the floor can also cause accidents. A damp floor or wall can cause the formation of mold that is expensive to get rid of. The best way to limit the damage caused by a leaking pipe is to fix it as a soon as possible.


The EPA estimates that most U.S. households can save 10 percent of their water bills by fixing leaking pipes, dripping faucets, and running toilets. The EPA may not be the most credible source and Lisa Jackson may not understand how an economy works but these facts are rock solid. Not only do leaky pipes cost you money in terms of wasting water, that water can and will damage the sheetrock, electric wires, flooring, and so on that are around this area.

  1. Even a small amount of water can damage the flooring or carpeting of your home. Water on the floor can also cause accidents.

    1.Easy to Implement Solutions

    When you suspect that a pipe is leaking in your home, first check to confirm that it is indeed a leak and not condensation. If you are sure that the pipe is leaking, wipe the exterior of the pipe absolutely dry and detect the exact place where the leak occurs and mark it. Now you are ready to repair the leak in the pipe by following the steps outlined below.


    1. Inspect: Remove the lid of the toilet tank and inspect the interior. This will often help you locate the problem in the tank. A visual inspection can reveal sedimentation, broken parts, clogged inlets, and other problems that can be fixed without too much effort.


    2. Joints: Often the leak occurs at a joint. In such cases, just tighten the joint using a wrench. If the treads are worn out, this might not be sufficient to stop the leak. You can try wrapping the threads with plumber’s tape and then tightening the threads to prevent the leakage. If even this does not work, use epoxy putty to seal the leak. However, using plumber’s tape or epoxy putty are temporary measures, and you will need to replace the joint as soon as possible.


    3. Pipe: If a pipe is leaking because it is rusted or has developed a hole you need to replace that length of pipe. While galvanized pipes need to be unscrewed, unscrewing them on one end will cause the threads to be tightened on the other end. In case you have copper pipes, they need to be soldered, again requiring skills and equipment that plumbers will possess.


    4. Ready Kit: As a temporary measure or even as a permanent step if the rest of the pipe is in great condition you can use a ready kit that comprises of a rubber pad that needs to be placed over the hole and clamped with metal plates that compress the pad and prevent leaks.


    5. Epoxy Putty: Another simple home solution is using epoxy putty. This needs to be applied on a completely dry surface. Tear of a sufficient quantity of epoxy putty and knead it until it is soft and pliable before applying it. Wait for the putty to cure completely before turning on the water supply and check that there are no more leaks.


    6. Waterproof Tape: This needs to be wrapped around a dry pipe to stop the leak.

  3. 3.Long-term Solution

    However, these are usually temporary fixes as once a pipe develops a hole at one spot or area, it means that the entire section is likely to be damaged. It is usually more economical in the long term to change the pipe. Additionally, if all your pipes are the same age, then it is best to examine the entire piping system and replace it if necessary. Since, examining the entire piping system in your home takes time and requires special knowledge, contact a plumber who is dedicated and competent. The professional, insured, and licensed plumber will be able to advise you on the steps you need to take to prevent leaking pipes from damaging your home and furnishings.

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