There are some plumbing pieces and tools available from most hardware stores that Kansas City homeowners should consider always having on hand, as the cost is not high but when a plumbing emergency happens you’ll be glad you have them. Tools and items such as a pipe cutter, PVC, new section of pipe, screwdriver, solder, and other basic plumbing repair tools and materials. This is definitely true when it comes to being prepared for a burst pipe. If you are ready for such an emergency, this could prevent thousands of dollars of repairs and water damage from occurring.
Now sometimes, duct tape is all it takes to save the day with some water leaks or provide a temporary fix. If you see a pinhole leak in a section of pipe, you can try wrapping the tape around the leaking pipe, depending on the water pressure. Oftentimes, this is all the pressure that the leak needs before a plumber comes. But this will not always be the case.
Sometimes soldering in a new section of pipe by a plumbing company or a licensed plumber, is the only option for a burst pipe or other kind of broken pipe. Homeowners have seen tremendous water damage to drywall, carpets and more when a copper pipe or PVC pipe becomes leaky and bursts. It can happen from corrosion in your water heater, or from pinhole leaks in copper pipes, or damaged pipes from when water freezes and you were not able to use a heater or hair dryer to warm the faucets and water lines before the pipe bursts. Burst pipes are a common cause for mildew build up from water in your drywall.
There are a few DIY things you can do with water pipes in your plumbing system to provide a temporary fix while you call a professional plumber to provide a permanent solution. There are different hose clamps you can use for leaks while you wait for new pipes. If it is cold enough where water freezes, and your main water supply is exposed, it is recommended to get some form of heat to gently warm the line.
For more serious leaks or breaks, you will need a C-clamp or a sleeve clamp.
How to Stop a Leak with a C-clamp
If a leak is only a thin crack, then you might be able to stop the leak with a block of wood, some rubber, and a C-clamp (so named for its shape). You can get rubber pieces cheap at junkyards, or you might be able to get your hands on radiator or heater hoses from an old car.
The first thing to do is cut off the water supply at the main water shut-off valve. Then you can take the piece of rubber, hold it against the leak, and then press the wood block against this rubber. Then you need to get the C-clamp to hold this in place. Open the clamp so that it will fit over the pipe, gasket material, and the wood. You want to place the clamp with the stationary end on the pipe, and the screw part on the wood block. Make sure the clamp is screwed on tight.
Stopping a Leak with a Sleeve Clamp
Whether you have a leak the size of a pinhead, or whether you have a gaping leak, a sleeve clamp should get the job done every time. You will only need the sleeve clamp, rubber (or gasket material), and a screwdriver. A sleeve clamp is two metal semicircles that can be screwed together, and thus enclose a pipe. A clamp is usually 3 inches in length, but the size of the clamp you get has to match the size of your pipe. Once you have your supplies, place the gasket material (or rubber) around the pipe where the leak is. Then you can put the clamps over this and screw them tightly together.
Call an A-1 Sewer Professional Plumber
Of course, any of these steps will only be a stopgap measure ‑ literally. Once you have a temporary solution in place, you will need to call in the experts to help you get a permanent fix. But with the right toolkit, you could be ready for whenever an emergency strikes. At A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc., our team of expert plumbing technicians is also prepared, no matter what time an emergency hits. You can get our excellent and fast service, even if you need help during the evening or on the weekend. To learn more, call our office to reach a Kansas City plumber today!