How to Fix a Leaking Pipe In Your Walls

A pipe on a white background.
  • 4-8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Drywall saw
Rubber hose of appropriate length
Duct tape
Zip ties or metal clamps
Drywall joint compound

A leaking pipe is not just an annoyance but can also cause serious damage. Some of these problems may very well be irreversible. Much of your house is probably made of drywall, and water is drywall's natural enemy. Hiring a professional plumber can be very pricey and if you want to try to replace the pipe yourself, follow the steps below.

The best solution to fix a leaking pipe is to replace the pipe altogether, but if you have the right tools, you can mend it yourself for a quick and temporary fix.

Step 1 - Saw Through Drywall

You will need to saw through the drywall around where the leak is found. You should cut the piece so it can act as a panel in case you need to open it again. Keep the piece of drywall that you saw out for replacement later. Identify the location of the leak. You will need to mark it for accuracy.

Step 2 - Turn Off Water

Turn off the main water valve. You do not want to be sprayed in the face while you are trying to fix this problem. Let everyone in your house know that the water will be temporarily unavailable.

Step 3 - Cut the Rubber Hose

Next you will need a length of rubber hose. Take the hose and cut it down the middle so that you have two pieces of split hose. Ensure that they are cut evenly so that both sides are the same width.

You will be using these lengths of hose to cover the leak, but first you will want to cover the leak with duct tape. This will act as an extra layer between the pipe and the covering that you will be using.

Step 4 - Place the Hose

Place your hose onto the leak, making sure that your hose is a bit longer than the actual leak. You can now secure the hose to the pipe by using either zip ties or metal clamps. Metal clamps can be found at your local hardware store, but it may be difficult to find the exact size to fit around your hose. The advantages to using zip ties here are that it is much easier to remove zip ties in the future and their size can be adjusted as needed.

Step 5 - Do Finishing Touches

The pipe now has a temporary fix and may not leak for a while. Do not rely on this fix too heavily, however. After you have secured the hose, immediately start looking for replacement pipes or contact a professional plumber to do the repairs.

Replace the drywall panel and fill in the edges around it with drywall joint compound (mud) to make it smooth. Use a spatula for accuracy. Paint over the spot as needed to blend in.