How to stop pinhole leaks

Written by robert russell
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How to stop pinhole leaks
(Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Pinhole leaks can cause a lot of aggravation and headaches if they are left unattended. Repairing a pinhole leak, in a radiator or one of the pipes in your home, is a fairly simple procedure. The most time consuming part of the job may be actually finding the leak. Once the leak is located, however, it usually takes only a few minutes to repair. Take note that repairing a pinhole leak should be regarded as a temporary solution.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Black pepper
  • Towel
  • Rubber gasket
  • Clamp

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  1. 1

    Locate the source of the leak. The leak may be in the radiator itself or it may be in one of the radiator hoses.

  2. 2

    Turn the engine off and allow the radiator to cool down for thirty minutes.

  3. 3

    Patch a radiator hose leak with duct tape or electrical tape. Wrap the tape tightly around the pinhole leak. This is a temporary fix. Replace the radiator hose during the next week.

  4. 4

    Remove the radiator cap after the radiator has cooled down.

  5. 5

    Add two teaspoons of black pepper into the radiator. The pepper with swell up when water touches it, plugging the small pinhole leak in the radiator.

  6. 6

    Fill the coolant reservoir to the full line. Place the radiator cap back on the radiator.


  1. 1

    Locate the source of the leak. Turn off the shut off valve to the pipe.

  2. 2

    Dry the area around the pinhole leak with a towel.

  3. 3

    Wrap several layers of electrical tape around the pinhole. Extend the tape six inches on both sides of the pinhole.

  4. 4

    Purchase a rubber gasket and clamp at the local hardware store.

  5. 5

    Wrap the rubber gasket around the pinhole. Carefully place the clamp on the pipe on top of the gasket. Tighten the screws on the clamp until the clamp is tightly secured to the pipe.

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