A leaking pipe can be absolutely no fun to deal with, even under the best of circumstances. However, there are ways to do emergency pipe repair, even if you are not a do-it-yourself expert. Leaks will pop up in household plumbing systems at the most inconvenient times possible, but if you can keep a cool head, you can stop most of them until you can get a plumbing profession to the house to do pipe installation.
Every household should have something resembling an emergency household repair kit. When it comes to leaks, this kit should include things like plumbing tape, pipe clamps, or other pipe repair kits available at any local hardware store. The first step to take is to get the flow of water shut off. You would be surprised just how quickly even the smallest leak can create a pool of water. How long it had been leaking, as well as how long that pool had been sitting on the floor, may indicate that other repairs may be needed in the immediate future, especially if any of that water damaged the flooring in any way.
Water flows through the pipes in a house from the outside rising main, linked to pipes radiating out underneath the home, and then up through pipes at junctions for the various outlets, like the bathroom sink, the toilet, the bath, the water heater, and the kitchen sink. Depending where the leak was, the pipes connected to the closest outlet should be your prime suspect. If the pool was found near or around the water heater, it may be more serious than just a leaky pipe. In this case, or any others that you may not think yourself capable of dealing with, call a professional plumber to assist you immediately.
Leaks found around the seating of the toilet or bath indicate that it may be more than just an access pipe that is leaking. It may be caused by the seals around the drains or seating having been breached or eroded. Definitely time to call the plumber in this case, because it might even indicate that pipe installation, as well as resealing is necessary. If the resulting puddle was found around the bathroom vanity or in front of the kitchen sink, then it is most likely a leak or crack in the PVC pipe that is primarily used to connect those installations to the rising main. These are the ones most able to be quickly fixed in an emergency.
Repair clamp kits consist of a rubber pad that will be fitted over the leaky section, and a clamp that can be tightened onto the pad so that it applies pressure for a quick pipe repair. Pipe tape can also be wrapped around the breached section of pipe for a quick seal. The third kind of easy pipe repair hardware consists of two strips of epoxy resin putty with pull off adhesive strips. When the strips are attached and kneaded around the pipe, it can form an airtight seal that will last until you can have a professional replace the pipe itself.
Leaks are caused by a variety of reasons, and some may not be able to fixed even with an emergency patch. Pipes can split, break and be corroded, and if it has been going on for some time, even the best patchwork will not hold. In any situation where there has been corrosion occurring, it is a safe bet that whatever is present in the water that would corrode a cast iron, copper or steel pipe, will eat through your patch as well.
If a pipe is leaking, rather than risk further damage through performing even the simplest of home repairs, call a professional plumber as soon as possible. They have the knowledge and experience to quickly solve home plumbing fix.