Quick Fixes for a Pipe Leak during Lockdown:
Being prepared to protect your home against a sudden burst pipe can save you thousands of Rands in damage. The following tips will slow or stop pipe leaks long enough to get hold of an emergency plumber. However, you may have to wait until the lockdown is over.
The first thing you should do is switch off the water supply. You might find this valve where your water supply enters your home or in the valve box on the pavement.
To temporarily stop a pinhole pipe leak on a water pipe, you need to seal the pipe at the leak point. If you have self-tapping screws you may need to widen the hole. Using a small piece of rubber or plastic pipe as a washer screw the self-tapper into the hole.
If you don’t have one or can’t “borrow” one from appliances in your home! Alternatively, wrap electrical or duct tape around the pipe a few times. In addition, if the pipe leak is on a PVC or galvanised waste pipe, almost any type of tape can be used as a temporary fix.
However, a better fix for waterpipes is using a piece of rubber or garden hose to cover the area of the leak. If you have hose clamps, clamp both ends of the tape, rubber or hose. This is a quick and very temporary fix.
If you don’t have hose clamps you can “borrow” some from the flexible traps at your sink or basin.
Fixing a pipe leak using a C-clamp
A temporarily stop a small pinhole pipe leak in a copper or galvanised waterpipe involves a C-clamp, a block of wood, and a piece of rubber.
Because the block of wood is flat and the pipe is round, it will only create pressure along a narrow area.
Place a piece of rubber or garden hose over the area of the pipe leak. Put the block of wood on top of the piece of material you have. Open the C-clamp wide enough to surround the pipe, the gasket material, and the block of wood.
Place the top part without the screw of the C-clamp against the opposite side of the leak. Then screw the screw part of the C-clamp against the block of wood. Tighten the screw clamp until it’s tight.
Using a sleeve clamp to fix a pipe leak
If your hardware is still open you can buy a sleeve clamp. This clamp stops everything from pinhole pipe leaks to larger leaks. A sleeve clamp consists of two semicircular pieces of metal that, when put together surround the pipe. The clamp is about 75mm long, but you have to buy one to fit your specific pipe size.
Other than the sleeve clamp, you only need a screwdriver or spanner to fit it.
Wrap the damaged section of pipe with the gasket material provided. Surround the gasket-wrapped pipe with the two semicircular clamps. Tighten the screws/nuts that connect the two halves of the sleeve clamp.
Temporary fix for an elbow joint
An elbow joint is more difficult to fix than a hole or split in a straight length of pipe.
One simple method of making a temporary repair of a pipe leak at an elbow joint is to use a length of plastic or rubber hose. Ensure the inside diameter of the hose matches the outside diameter of the pipe. You can use a section of hose pipe, an old piece of cloths or dishwasher water supply pipe or something similar.
After turning off the water supply, remove the leaking elbow by cutting it out with a hacksaw. Then take a long enough piece of rubber hose and slip it over the ends where the cuts were made. Hose clamps will hold the hose securely in place.
No one likes the idea of spending money on the off chance that they may be needed. However, things like hose clamps, C-clamps, duct tape, and rubber are pretty cheap. Especially when you consider how much money they can save you get a pipe leak. These simple items are good to have in your workshop or garage.
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