Can You Fix Broken Pipes? The Answer Is Yes!

Over 320 billion gallons of water — that’s how much the US consumes every day. Of that, about 300 gallons go toward each US household. The thing is, the average home has water leaks that waste a staggering 10,000 gallons each year. That’s over 27 gallons of wasted water a day! What’s even worse is that one in 10 households has plumbing leaks that amount to 90 gallons or more each day.

This is why you need to stay vigilant of broken pipes, as these are a huge driver of high water bills. The water they leak also adds to your home’s indoor moisture, which can have bad health effects.

The question is, how do you even know you have leaky plumbing pipes? Most importantly, what can you do about them?

We’ll answer all these burning questions you have, so be sure to read on!

How To Tell That You Have Broken Pipes

Abnormally high water bills, musty smells, and molds are some of the solid signs you have broken pipes. You can also do a quick leak check if you know where your water meter and main water valve are.

This method is especially helpful for determining if you have hidden leaks. After all, you may have broken pipes under the house or beneath its foundation.

To check for potential leaks, make sure no one is using any water fixture — no faucets, no showers, no toilets. Then, check the dial, pin, or digital display of your water meter. If there’s no leak, it shouldn’t be moving.

If it does move, then you most likely have a broken pipe or leak somewhere. Check each faucet and showerhead for moisture, as they may be leaking other than from their spout. Pay particular attention to their handles, stems, and bases.

If these fixtures remain dry, next up is to check the exposed sections of your plumbing system. These exposed pipes are usually found in basements as well as under or behind sinks. These are the pipes that you may be able to temporarily fix on your own.

If there’s no leak in these areas, you’re likely dealing with broken pipes under the foundation. In this case, it’s best that you get on the phone with your local licensed plumber. Professional plumbers use cameras, ground mics, and listening discs to detect hidden leaks.

Surface Preparation for DIY Pipe Repairs

Before you do any of the pipe repair hacks below, turn off your main water valve first. Be sure to clean the affected area of the pipe too, as dirt and grime will hinder an adhesive’s sealing ability. Don’t forget to completely dry out the pipe too.

Short-Term Fix For Pinhole Pipe Leaks

If you find tiny holes (AKA pinholes) in exposed plumbing pipes, reach out for your duct or electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the affected area several times. Make sure the surface of the material remains smooth and bubble-free.

You should further secure the tape on the pipe with a hose clamp. This way, you’ll have at least a few hours to keep the pipe from springing another leak. That’s enough time to contact a plumber to give the leak a more permanent fix.

Epoxy Putty May Be the Key

For bigger holes or leaks that spring out of fitting joints, apply some epoxy putty. These are substances that can serve as adhesives and space-fillers. In that way, they can help you seal holes in plumbing pipes that tape won’t be able to handle.

Most household epoxy products come in two parts — resin and putty — but there are also gels and liquids. Two-part epoxy products take less time to dry and harden than other adhesives and fillers. Still, the more time that epoxy takes to dry and harden, the stronger its bonding capacity is.

If you don’t have epoxy putty at home, you can easily find them in hardware and home improvement stores. If applied correctly, it should provide a longer-term fix than duct or electrical tape. Use this hack if you can’t have a professional plumber come to your home until after several days.

Keep Those Pipes Clamped

Another temporary fix to leaking pipes is to cover the hole with a piece of rubber and then secure it with a clamp. Regular hose clamps can do the trick, but pipe repair clamps allow for a tighter, more secure seal. For smaller holes or cracks, you may only need one clamp, but it’s best to seal both ends of the rubber with two clamps.

Schedule Professional Plumbing Repair ASAP

Even after carrying out these DIY fixes, you should still get in touch with plumbing experts. They are only temporary repairs meant to keep pipes from wasting water until you get ahold of a plumber.

Otherwise, you may end up with bigger problems, such as burst, broken pipes in winter. Not only will this be more expensive to repair — it can also cause indoor flooding and water damage.

Keep in mind that water expands as it turns into ice. If this happens, the ice will put more pressure and force against the interior lining of the pipes. As soon as the pipes can no longer handle the expanding water, they will burst and come apart.

Poorly- or hastily-fixed pipes are at a higher risk of freezing and bursting. This is especially true if the initial problem was a break in the middle of the pipe or a leaking joint. Even hardened epoxy can give if water freezes inside the pipe.

Get Those Damaged Pipes Fixed ASAP

There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to repair broken pipes, albeit temporarily. As a final tip, close the main valve before leaving home in case you haven’t had professional repairs yet. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting back to a flooded home in case the damage gets worse while you’re away.

Interested in more DIY hacks for home repairs and improvements? Then be sure to check out and bookmark this site’s Home/DIY section!

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