When a pipe springs a leak, the situation can get out of control fast. You don't want spraying water to wreak havoc and lead to huge repair bills. Here are quick fixes to control the damage and keep your water running while you're arranging for a proper repair.

Step 1

Turn off the water at the main valve.

Step 2

Open the faucets on the water line to relieve pressure. For all but clamp-type repairs, you must drain water from the pipe by opening the faucets or bleed valves located below the leak.

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Wrap a piece of rubber around the leaking joint, then apply a stainless-steel hose clamp (see A). Tighten the clamp with a screwdriver or socket wrench. If you don't have a hose clamp, use another type, such as a C-clamp, to secure the rubber over the leak.

Step 4

Soak water-activated fiberglass-resin tape (sold in a repair kit for just this purpose) in water, wrap it around the leak and smooth it with gloved hands. Allow it to cure as directed before restoring the water.

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For leaks around fittings, dry the surface, mix two-part epoxy putty and apply it over and around the leak (see B). Allow curing time as directed before restoring the water.

Step 6

For leaks in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or PB (polybutylene) plastic pipes, use a hacksaw or pipe cutter with a plastic-cutting wheel to cut out a section of pipe long enough to allow you to slip in a compression coupling. Tighten the coupling by hand and snug it with pliers.