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How to Seal Leaky Drain Pipes

Updated February 21, 2017

Even the smallest of leaks in drain pipes can cause damage and chaos in your home. Rust, rot and water damage are unavoidable when your drain pipes are leaking. There is no substitute for having a professional plumber replace your pipes in order to stop a leak. However, if you need a quick solution to seal leaking drain pipes, there are some at-home solutions that can save you some damage to your home.

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  1. Shut off the water source running to the pipe before attempting to fix a leak. This will stop the leak while you are applying your materials and prevent water from limiting the effectiveness of some adhesives.

  2. Locate the area of the pipe that has the leak. Remember that water can travel along the outside of the pipe before dripping off; be sure to trace the water back to its source to properly seal the leak.

  3. Dry the area near the leak with a towel and apply a few layers of electrician's tape. Wrap the tape about six inches in either direction from the leak to ensure it is sealed properly. This fix is temporary, and will only work on small leaks, such as pinholes. The tape is not waterproof and will not prevent a leak from spreading.

  4. Apply plumber's epoxy to the leaky area; this is especially effective if the leak is near the joint of the pipe. Some epoxy comes in two colours; take an equal size piece of each and knead them together until it becomes a uniform colour. Push the epoxy into place using your fingers or a putty knife. The epoxy will form a waterproof seal around the area and so is a more effective plug for a larger leak or for one at a fitting. Read all instructions on the product for proper drying time; be sure the epoxy is completely dry before allowing water to run through the pipe.

  5. Apply an automotive hose clamp and a piece of hose rubber or sheet cork -- this option is one of the most effective solutions for a leak. Hold the piece of rubber or cork over the leak and attach the clamp to hold it in place. These materials are readily available at most automotive retail stores.

  6. Tip

    All solutions for sealing leaky pipes are temporary; contact a professional plumber as soon as possible to have leaky pipes replaced before the leaks can spread or cause excessive damage.

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Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Electrician's tape
  • Plumber's epoxy
  • Putty knife
  • Rubber hose
  • Automotive clamp

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

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