You’ve noticed that one of the pipes in your home is leaking and have called in an emergency plumber for immediate repairs. However, as you wait, you realize that the leak is getting worse. If left alone, it can flood your home and cause severe water damage to your valuables. What should you do to prevent extensive property damage as you wait for emergency help? Below are three useful measures that will help you to contain a leaky pipe as you wait for a professional plumber to repair the pipe.
Turn Off the Water
Depending on the location of the leak, you may have to turn off the water at the main shutoff valve. In fact, this is the safest option as it cuts water flow in the entire house. Do you know where your main shutoff valve is? If not, look in the following places:
- Look around your home’s perimeter, especially on the side that’s facing the street as this is where your water main line begins as it enters the home.
- Check the outside wall of your house, especially in a utility area.
- Look for the shutoff valve in the basement.
If you can’t find the valve, look through your property inspection report. The valves usually come in two types: a gate valve and a ball valve. In both designs, you turn the valve clockwise to cut off the water supply in the entire house.
Once the disaster is managed, ensure everyone in your household knows where the valve is and how to shut it off. This will save you from dealing with a catastrophe in the future if a leak occurs when you’re not home.
Clamp the Pipe
Even after shutting off the main valve, the water left in the piping system will continue to leak. You can prevent this by trying to temporarily seal the crack. If you have some rubber sheeting around, it’ll come in handy. Wrap the rubber sheeting around the leaking part of the pipe and use a C-clamp and some blocks of wood to hold it in place. This is a temporary fix and will only work for a short time; thus, don’t turn on the water before repairing the pipe.
Patch the Pipe
If you have materials such as epoxy compounds and pipe wraps in the garage from your last renovation project, you can use them to contain the leaky pipe. Apply pipe wrap or epoxy compounds around the broken section of the pipe. These materials are effective as they can be used to contain any types of leaks and cracks. However, just like rubber sheeting, pipe wrap and epoxy compounds are also temporary solutions. They’ll hold the pipes in place and prevent further leaks until your plumber arrives.
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