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Is your water bill skyrocketing? Are you seeing mold and mildew? Do you see cracks in the foundation?
These are all signs of a leaky pipe in your home. Leaky pipes are the homeowner’s worst nightmare.
About 10% of homes in the U.S. have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more of water each day. All that water can cause damage to a home.
The good news is that you can fix a leaky pipe. You can learn how to fix a leaky pipe by reading this guide.
The Causes of Leaks
As a homeowner, you need to know the common causes of a leaky pipe. Pipe corrosion is one of the main causes of a pipe leak. Corrosion eats away at a pipe eventually creating an opening that allows water to leak out.
This can happen to pipes as they age. Rust can form on them. Look for discoloration of the pipes as this is one sign that a pipe may be in need of repair.
Seal damage is another cause of leaks. The seals on a pipe can degrade over time. This can lead the sealing to break down which in turn causes a leak at the source.
High water pressure can also cause a leak. Pipes can only withstand so much water pressure before they start to sustain damage. Too much water pressure can even cause a pipe to burst.
Drain clogs may contain corrosive materials as well as toxic chemicals. Together, these substances can eat away at a pipe and cause a leak.
The Temporary Solution To Stop a Leak
Stopping the leak should be your top priority. Focus on a temporary solution to prevent further water damage.
The first step is to shut off the water valve. Doing so stops the flow of water to the leak.
You’ll find the water valve if the leak is in the sink or toilet. If you can’t find a valve or one isn’t present, you must find the main water valve. Shut it off once you locate it.
Next, you’ll have to remove water that’s left in the leaky pipe. You can turn on any faucets connected to the leaky pipe.
Another option is to use an air compressor. Use it to force out the water. Gravity will also help to push any water out.
After removing leftover water, you’ll need to dry off condensation and water. Use a towel or cloth to wipe the pipe dry. Letting the pipe air dry before fixing it is a must.
There are a couple of ways to seal the leak. An easy way to do this is to look for the lead tip inside the leak. Use a pencil to break it and plug up the leak.
Use epoxy to cover the lead tip. It’s best to use a putty knife for this. Let the epoxy dry before you externally cover the leak.
If you have rubber available, cut some of it and wrap it around the pipe where the leak is. Hold it in place and let it set for 60 minutes.
A hose can also work. Use a clamp to hold the hose in place. Allow it to set for 60 minutes as well.
After the hour passes, apply waterproof tape to the area. Apply several layers to make it look like a mummy.
The Permanent Solution To Stop a Leak
If you stop a leak, another one can spring up. To stop this from happening, you must use a permanent solution.
The first step calls for the gathering of supplies and tools. You’ll need to buy replacement piping. Measure the length of the pipe you’ll need so you buy the right amount.
Buy an emery cloth and a torch. Your shopping list will also include silver solder, solder flux, and a fitting brush.
Once you have everything ready, you’ll need to shut off the water valve. Remember, doing this will prevent further water flow to the leak.
Next, remove any water that’s still in the leaky pipe. Then, remove the section of the pipe that has the damage. A hacksaw or a pipe cutter works best.
The next step is to use the emery cloth to polish both the existing pipe and the replacement pipe. Use the fitting brush too. Apply the cloth to both the inside and outside of the pipes.
Then, you’ll apply a coat of soldering flux to the side of the pipes you’re going to solder. Don’t go overboard as you apply the soldering flux. Solder the new pipe and let it cool.
The last step is to turn on the water. Check to see if there aren’t any leaks.
What Do You Do if You Can’t Access the Leak?
Now you know how to fix a leaky pipe, but what happens if the leak occurs behind drywall? This is where things can get tricky.
You have to go in to repair the leak. This will cause drywall damage.
Repairing drywall might not be up your alley. If this is the case, you’ll need to call a local drywall repair company. Let the pros take care of it.
Learn How To Fix a Leaky Pipe
Is one of your pipes leaking? Leaky pipes can cause all sorts of trouble. Now that you know how to fix a leaky pipe, you can prevent major issues.
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