Repairing or replacing a faulty pipe is almost always the best fix for a persistent leak, but as every homeowner knows, time and circumstance can get in the way. Until the problem can be properly solved, you’ll want to stop the wasteful dripping as well as avoid long-term moisture damage of the surrounding area.
Check out these four DIY quick-fixes to stop that pipe from leaking—for now.
For this simple repair, first turn off the water source to the leaking pipe. A dollop of this putty-like compound, available at most hardware stores, can be molded and pressed over the hole. After the molding material hardens, turn the water back on to make sure it has created a seal. This fix is best for small leaks and cast-iron pipes.
Homeowners sometimes use duct tape as a temporary fix for a leaking pipe, but duct tape isn’t fully waterproof. For slight cracks or a series of pinhole leaks, you’re better off winding pipe tape along the area that needs repair. Pipe tape is resistant to temperature extremes, it’s anti-corrosive, and it’s far more waterproof than duct tape. It’ll make a better and longer-lasting seal.
Pipe Repair Clamps
Pipe repair clamps are metal clamps that can be tightened around the leaky part of the pipe. First wrap the leaking area with a flexible, water-resistant material like sheet rubber, then tighten the clamp around the rubber to create enough (gentle) pressure to stop the leaking.
Neoprene Repair Sleeves
Neoprene sleeves cover a longer stretch of pipe. They’re held in place by clamps similar to the pipe repair clamps above, spreading the pressure over a larger area. If you’re faced with a hairline split under pressure, this may be the best way to hold things together until your local plumber can do the appropriate repair.