How to Repair a Water Line Leak
A water line leak can prove to be more troublesome than some expect. Dripping water that seeps through walls threatens the structural stability of your house, or those that leak in the ground cause puddles of water that encourage roots of vegetation to rot. Repair a water line leak yourself before the problem goes out of hand and you need to call the services of a professional for plumbing and home repair. There are several methods of completing the task, thus allowing homeowners to choose the one that meets their needs.
Step 1- Detect Leak and Prepare to Fix it Appropriately
Detect and analyze the leak in order to select the best method for its repair. Most water pipes are usually made out of copper; however, you may have PVC pipes. The type of pipe influences the type of repair Depending on the extent of the leak and the accessibility to the spot, each leak in a fitting or in the pipe itself is fixed through soldering, epoxy or by simply clamping rubber sheet over the spot.
Step 2- Drain the Pipes
Switch off main water supply to the pipe and open faucets to drain the water it contains. Whether you need to carry out repair-work through fixing or replacing the water pipe, it is necessary that no water is held by the pipe.
Step 3- Repair by Fixing
There are several ways through which a leak is repaired by fixing it. For a copper pipe, apply soldering flux on the location of the leak and then solder it with a propane torch. Make sure you wear protective glasses to prevent injury. For any type of pipe, wear protective gloves and apply epoxy evenly over the area around joints to seal those completely. To fix smaller leaks, place and tighten a rubber sheet around the leak using a horse-clamp. Use screw-drivers to ensure that clamp is tight enough to discourage any future leaks.
Step 4- Repair by Replacing
In some cases, specially in the case of PVC pipes, it is easier to replace the part of the pipe with a leak with another piece of pipe. For this purpose you need to estimate the area of the pipe suffering from the leak and get another piece of pipe (preferably of the same dimensions) to replace it. Use a saw or pipe cutter to cut the leaky section of the pipe. Sand the edges to make them smooth. Use PVC primer and glue to secure the pipes together. In the case of copper pipes, use soldering flux and propane torch to replace the new pipe through soldering.
Step 5- Test the Repaired Pipe
After replacing pipes or fixing the leak with an appropriate method, turn the water supply back on and allow water to run through to determine whether the leak is completely repaired. Turn the water supply off again to repair any faulty section, if necessary, or wrap up your work.