There are some plumbing pieces and tools that you should consider always having on hand. They will not cost you much in the short-term, and having the right items in an emergency can be invaluable. 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 damage from occurring. Now sometimes, duct tape is all it takes to save the day. If you see a pinhole leak, you can try wrapping the tape around the pipe. Oftentimes, this is all the pressure that the leak needs before a plumber comes. But this will not always be the case. 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 is 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.
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 for no extra charge, 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!