Emergency Pipe Repairs

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Plumbing    by: ITC

• One type of repair kit is based on two- part epoxy resin plastic putty supplied as two strips of differently-colored putty in an airtight pack. When the strips are thoroughly kneaded together the putty is packed firmly round the pipe, where ’twill hardens to form a seal. However, this hardening process takes up to 24 hours and the water supply will have to remain off for this period. (If you don’t need to use all the pack in one goes, reseal it immediately).

Equal amounts of putty should always be used and mixed together thoroughly until a uniform color results, otherwise it won’t harden properly. It’s also essential that the pipe or joint is scrupulously rubbed down and cleaned with ethylated spirit or nail polish remover. This will ensure a good bond between the putty and the metal.

• One of the most valuable aids is a multi-size pipe repair clamp which has the added advantage of being reusable. It consists of a rubber pad which fits over the hole (for this repair it’s not necessary to turn off the water) and a metal clamp which draws the rubber tightly against the pipe when it is screwed in place.

Position the pad and one side of the clamp over the hole, and link the two parts of the clamp together, making sure that the pad is still in place. Tighten the wing nut fully. If the position of the hole makes this difficult, use blocks of wood to hold the pipe away from the wall. This method of repair cannot, of course, be used to mend leaks occurring at fittings.

• Another proprietary product uses a two- part sticky tape system which builds up waterproof layers over the leak — in the true. sense this does form an instant repair. The area round the leak should be dried and cleaned and then the first of the tapes is wrapped tightly round the pipe, covering the leak and 25mm (1in) either side of it. Then 150mm strips of the second tape, with the backing film removed, are stuck to the pipe and stretched as they are wound round, each turn overlapping the previous one by about half the width of the tape. This covering should extend 25mm beyond either end of the first layer of tape. The job is completed by wrapping the first tape over the entire repair.

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