Many homes have drain pipes on the outside wall. These drain pipes may be overflow pipes for water heaters, air conditioners, water softeners or other water devices. A drop now and then may be only condensation, but regular drips or a small stream of hot water means a more serious problem. If you call a plumber or repairman, it may take a few hours or a day for the service call. In the meantime, you can put a temporary extension on the drain pipe to carry the water away from your foundation or walkway. This extension is an easy task.
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Vacuum extension hose or flexible drain hose
Find the drain. The drain is usually a copper pipe on the outside wall of the house. It may be painted or hidden behind a bush. The drain pipe usually empties be over a sidewalk or soil.
Locate any drain pipes and look at them occasionally for water drips. If the soil is wet around a normally dry bush, check for a leaking drain pipe. Water leaking at the base of the house can damage the house. If the drain is leaking hot water, a valve has probably failed on the water heater and a plumber should be called immediately.
Decide where you want the water to drain. It needs to go downhill and should go out onto soil or driveway where it can flow into the street drain. Use the tape measure from the drain pipe to where the leaking water should go. Add an extra foot to your measurement for bending the extension. This is the minimum length needed for the extension hose. Longer is better because it can be curved around obstacles or cut to fit.
An old vacuum cleaner extension hose is handy for drains that need to be extended a short distance. Cut off the hard plastic fitting so that the flexible coil fits right up under the drain pipe. If the leaking water is cold, place the outflow end near bushes, trees, or other areas that absorb water or drain away from the foundation. If the water flow is hot, be sure to keep it away from bushes or plants that can be damaged.
If the vacuum hose is not an option, get flexible drain hose. Many hardware and home improvement stores carry flexible drain hose. Measure the drain pipe on the outside. The drain hose should be slightly bigger so that it will fit easily around the outside of the drain pipe. Buy the flexible hose long enough to drain where you want it to go.
Some plumbing departments also carry long plastic sleeves similar to gutter extensions. These sleeves are like a flat hose made of plastic and are about 2 inches in diameter. They are collapsible plastic and can be attached to the drain pipe with a rubber band or hose clamp. These are not as durable as the vacuum hose or flexible drain hose. In windy conditions, they can collapse or blow away. Use the collapsible plastic sleeve only in protected areas.
Tips and warnings
- Do not postpone calling a professional repairman. These are only emergency ways to drain leaking water away from your home until help arrives.