How to repair a small pipe leak

Written by joshua benjamin
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Sometimes plumbing starts to leak despite any efforts you might have taken to prevent such an eventuality. If the leak is toward the joint, you can often fix it just by tightening down the pipe. If the leak is on the body of the pipe, however, you have to pull out the toolbox. Small leaks, fortunately, can be fixed fairly quickly with a few basic tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Epoxy
  • Plumber's tape
  • Clean cloth
  • Sandpaper

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    Using Plumber's Tape

  1. 1

    Turn off the water, either to your entire house or -- if possible -- just to the section of pipe that is leaking.

  2. 2

    Dry off the area around the pipe with a clean cloth, then rub it down with sandpaper to clean away any sediment or oxidation. Leak repairs must be made to clean, dry pipe, otherwise the repair will not adhere properly.

  3. 3

    Tape up the pipe starting about 2 inches below the leak and wrap it up to about 2 inches above the leak. Make sure the tape is as tight as possible, especially over the leak area. Tape the pipe up and down so there are several layers of tape over the leak for maximum stability.

  4. 4

    Turn the water back on.

    Using Epoxy Putty

  1. 1

    Turn off the water and clean off the pipe as detailed above.

  2. 2

    Knead the putty epoxy in your hand, then flatten it down against your palm. Make it thick enough so that when you place it over the pipe it will be able to fill the crack completely.

  3. 3

    Place the putty over the leak and push it down into the pipe. Rub over the putty several times to ensure it fills the crack and sticks to the pipe.

  4. 4

    Wait for an hour before turning the water back on. This gives the epoxy time to set and dry properly.

Tips and warnings

  • These are both temporary fixes, though they may last for quite a while. Make sure you check on them periodically to ensure the seal is still holding and no further leaks or damage has occurred.

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