Leaks and broken pipes can be big problems for anyone who owns their home because the water in supply pipes is under pressure. If a pipe or fitting leaks, the water usually comes out with a lot of force. Most water pipes in modern homes are made of copper and are joined with elbows, tees, and other fittings. Threaded galvanized iron pipes are also standard, especially in older homes, but they are being phased out because mineral deposits build up in them over time and make them hard to use.
Keeping at least one pipe repair clamp on hand is good in case a pipe bursts. This is especially true if you live where pipes often freeze. You can buy these screw-on devices for quick tube fittings repairs at any store that sells home improvement supplies or online.
Locate the Leaking Pipe
Because of this pressure, it is usually pretty easy to tell if a tube leaks, even if it is inside a wall or above a ceiling. A lot of the time, you can hear water splattering inside the wall or ceiling. The sheetrock gets wet, especially where the panels meet. In addition, water tends to gather at the bottom.
The leak may be above if water is staining or dripping from the ceiling. However, water can travel along a joist or other interior framing member and stain a wall or ceiling some distance from the leak itself. If there are no stains or drips on the ceiling, get a flashlight and check the tube fittings in the basement or crawlspace.
Shut Off the Valve That Controls Water Flow
When a home’s water supply system leaks or a plumbing fixture needs to be fixed, you will need to turn off the water. The valve closest to the problem is the best place to do this. Therefore, the other parts of the house will still be able to get water.
Most fixtures and appliances that use water in homes built after the 1950s have a shut-off valve that lets you stop the water supply at the fixture without turning off the water to the whole house. If you need to fix a faucet, shower, or tub that does not have a valve to turn off the water, you may need to turn off the water to the whole house.
Make a Sleeve Clamp
If you do not have a sleeve clamp, you can make your pipe repair clamp by wrapping the broken tube with a strip of rubber.
The problem with these solutions is that a tube that leaks in one place usually leaks in another. You may fix a pipe in one place, only to have it break in another. When the leak is caused by corrosion, for example, the whole section of tube fittings will probably need to be replaced. Most of the time, this is a job for a plumber.