If one of your pipes has started to leak unexpectedly, you might be looking for a quick fix until a plumber arrives to assess the situation. One of the easiest ways to quickly fix a leaking pipe is by using epoxy putty. It's readily available and, as long as you follow a few easy steps, anyone can apply it themselves. There are, however, a few things you need to know before using epoxy putty on your pipes.
You can fix a leak with epoxy putty, provided it's in a copper or galvanized steel pipe. The epoxy putty isn't a permanent solution, and the leak will need to be repaired by a plumber at some point.
What to Know Before Buying
It's important to note that if you have plastic pipes, epoxy putty won't be useful for you. Epoxy putty is only recommended for copper and galvanized steel pipes. You should also consider using epoxy putty if the hole on your pipe is quite large or your plumbing joints are leaking.
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Epoxy putty is sold in most home improvement stores. Some examples of popular and reliable brands to check out are JB Weld and PC Products. Epoxy putty is very inexpensive; it usually costs less than $10. You can also purchase a pair of gloves before putting epoxy putty on your pipes to ensure cleanliness.
How to Use Epoxy Putty
When it comes to using epoxy putty, follow plumbing best practices as you would for any project. First, turn off the water supply upstream from the leaking pipe before using the putty. You'll also need to clean and dry the section of pipe to ensure it will adhere properly. It's also important that water is drained from the damaged line beforehand.
Now you can prepare the epoxy putty and put it on the leaking pipe. To prepare the putty, knead the two component materials together. You may notice that before kneading, the epoxy putty is two different colors. Once the putty is only one color, you can be confident that it's prepared and ready to be applied to your leaking pipe.
Next, wrap the putty all around the pipe and push it into the hole to seal it. Make sure to press down on the edges to secure the putty to your pipe. If you're worried that epoxy putty isn't enough to seal the leak, you can wrap duct tape around the putty to further ensure that your pipe won't leak. Some experts recommend this method because pressure from the water could blow the putty off the pipe.
Epoxy Putty Isn't Permanent
Once you've properly put the epoxy putty on your leaking pipe, it should take about an hour to completely dry. When the putty has hardened, you can turn your water on to make sure the epoxy putty is working properly. If not, you can repeat the steps above and apply the putty again.
Following these simple steps should temporarily stop your pipe or showerhead from leaking. Using epoxy putty isn't a permanent solution, however, and you should contact a plumber to prevent your pipes from leaking again.