Well-managed copper pipes should last you at least 50 to 70 years, sometimes even longer. Unfortunately, acidic water and soil can cause pitting-type corrosion and shorten the lifespan of a pipe to 20 years or less. This is not good news because pipe replacement can cost you a fortune. Leaks tend to happen fairly often in older Australian homes, but they are manageable and easily repaired by professionals.
Although you probably can’t fix the issue on your own, there’s always something you can do before the plumbers arrive. If you learn how to apply at least one of these temporary fixes, you’ll be able to use the water in your home until plumbers fix the pipes.
Fix the leaking pipe with clamps
Pipe clamps are designed to hold objects firmly in place. They’re strong enough for your pipes to survive another day or two. Although they will not solve the problem of a leaking pipe, clamps are a great temporary fix.
Start by shutting off the water supply and cleaning the mess. If you can approach the broken pipe, place the clamp right next to the leaking spot. Do not install a clamp directly over the leaking spot, but rather leave some room above. Tighten all the bolts, and if the installation was successful, you can turn on the water supply.
SharkBites are great because they can slide on both copper and PVC pipes. They’re also cheap and easy to use.
You should start by cutting out the leaking piece of pipe. When you cut it, any extra water that stayed in pipes will drain, so be prepared to clean it up. Smoothen the rough edges of the pipe and then simply push SharkBites onto the pipe.
Apply silicone tape
Small pipe leaks can easily be fixed with a little tape here and there. Find the leaking spot and wrap it in silicone tape. Silicone tape will stick to itself, and that makes it pretty easy to remove.
Use silicone tape only if your plumbers are going to arrive the same day you called them. Although it may serve good for other minor fixes around the house, it’s not the best option for leaking pipes.
Pipe wraps work well, too
Pipe wraps are similar to epoxy and you can find them at most hardware stores. Put them on the right place and they will harden to patch the leak. This is a good choice because you can apply pipe wraps anywhere on the broken pipe. They work well for all types of cracks and leaks, making them a pretty convenient solution.
Repair sleeves are thin metal sleeves, ideal for joint repairs. Like any other temporary fix, they provide a working solution, but only for a short time. They’re similar to clamps and they work the best for smaller cracks in the piping.
Call the plumber right away
Despite the durability of copper pipes, they still cause problems fairly often. Lots of Australian homeowners encounter clogs and blockages every couple of months, rendering their drains unusable. Plumbers are constantly called in to deal with blocked drains in Sydney, as the copper piping is often vulnerable to clogging.
Not only do the drains get completely clogged, but they can also cause pipes to back up and overflow. Now you have two potential problems that require a quick solution. Before you start fixing the pipes on your own, call in the plumbers. Explain the situation and ask whether you should start doing something on your own before they arrive. If your drain is clogged, at least try to syphon out the water. Leave the rest of the work to the professionals.
Leaking pipes can cause a lot of damage to your home. As soon as you notice the problem, call the plumbers. Do not wait long because if the water pressure is high, a small crack can turn into a bigger one quickly. In the meantime, try not to use a lot of water before the problem is resolved. Cut the water supply and patiently await help from the professionals.