Duct taped a leaking pipe: Am I going to hell?

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Old 07-18-03, 07:55 AM
NoClue
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Duct taped a leaking pipe: Am I going to hell?

I'm a first-time home owner with virtually no experience with home repair projects... basically learning as I go. No doubt this and future postings will qualify as "dump questions", but I trust you'll be gentle with me, or at the very least view me a comic relief.

I have a very slight leak in a waste water pipe in the basement. The seal between two threaded pieces is leaking just enough to allow a few drops through when someone uses the shower.

My (very, very limited) understanding of plumbing tells me that I should seperate the two pieces, apply sealant, and reconnect. However, the pipes are jammed in there pretty tightly and space I'm working in is an awkward one. I'm reluctant to try to force them apart or disconnect multiple sections, since I can imagine myself not being able to get them back together.

Out of frustration, I wrapped the leak in duct tape. It's been dry ever since.

My question: other than the damage to my pride caused by such an amatuerish solution, what actual harm am I doing by just leaving the duct tape there? The wife seems to think this is a perfectly acceptable solution, but I have a nagging feeling that I'll pay for this down the line.
 
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Old 07-18-03, 08:07 AM
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Well, duct tape is not the permanent way to properly seal a drain pipe, but it's your pipe, and you can seal it anyway that you want.
There's no real pressure on a drain pipe.
If you want to do it properly, tell us what kind and size of pipe that it is, and we can tell you how to repair it.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 07-18-03, 08:25 AM
NoClue
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Thanks for the quick reply.
Originally posted by OldGuy
Well, duct tape is not the permanent way to properly seal a drain pipe, but it's your pipe, and you can seal it anyway that you want. There's no real pressure on a drain pipe.
That's about what I thought. I guess what I'm trying to get a handle on what price I'm going to pay for doing it the wrong way. In other words, is it a case of "it will look ugly and you're going to need to get up there and replace the tape every now and then", or "you'll eventually rust the outside of the pipe and have to replace the whole thing". My guess is somewhere in between.
 
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Old 07-18-03, 09:28 AM
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Yep. But it might last a very long time, too.
 
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Old 07-18-03, 10:22 AM
masterjoe
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Talking A little better solution

I had a similar situation where it was such a minute leak in my shower drain.
I took a easy way out; the bottom line is that it hasn't leaked a drop for the last 14 years.
Your drain pipe is probably either PVC or ABS. Get a hold of a cement for your particular pipe material, from Home Depot.
Clean the area with a beat-up toothbrush, dry it well and apply a cement around the area. You don't have to overdo it because once it hardens, it's as solid as a pipe itself.
Let it cure. During cure, do not drain any water into that drain pipe.

This solution is a bit more insuring that your duct tape.
 
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Old 07-18-03, 10:35 AM
NoClue
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Re: A little better solution

Originally posted by masterjoe
Your drain pipe is probably either PVC or ABS. Get a hold of a cement for your particular pipe material, from Home Depot.
Clean the area with a beat-up toothbrush, dry it well and apply a cement around the area. You don't have to overdo it because once it hardens, it's as solid as a pipe itself. Let it cure. During cure, do not drain any water into that drain pipe.
Pipe is actually metal. I did apply some sealant to the leaky area (around the outside, since I couldn't get the pieces apart), but it leaked through on the next use. How long should I give it to harden before we use the drain again?
 
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