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5 Tips for Repairing Common Leaks on Your Own

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Do you have a plumbing leak? In a lot of cases, you may be able to fix the leak yourself. Here's a look at some common leaky situations and a few tips on how to fix them. You don't need to be a professional for any of these approaches.

1. Shut Off the Water

Regardless of which of these methods you are going to try, you need to start by shutting off the water. Typically, homes have an external tap where you can turn off the water to the entire house, and in other cases, you can just shut off the water to that area.

Generally, there is a knob near toilets, under sinks, or in other areas that allows you to turn off the water coming to that tap.

2. Use Plumbing Tape

If you have a small leak coming from a pipe, you may be able to repair it at least temporarily with plumbing tape. This is special tape designed to work like a patch on PVC pipes.

Locate the source of the leak, dry the pipe around the leak, and then, stick the tape on that area. Smooth it firmly in place to create a tight seal.

3. Try a Plumbing Clamp

Plumbing clamps can help with metal pipes. These clamps are lined with rubber or special plastic that creates a seal around the hole. Make sure to get a size that works with your size of pipe.

Again, make sure the pipe is clean and dry. These clamps usually feature two sleeves that fit over each other. Put on the first part of the clamp, and then, put the second part over it. Tighten it, and you're done.

4. Replace Some Pipework

In some situations, it's relatively easy to replace a leaking pipe. For example, the pipes under most sinks are comprised of straightforward sections. You simply remove the part you don't need, and screw in a replacement.

In other situations, you have to cut out the leaking pipe work. Then, you have to solder or glue a new length of pipe to the surrounding pipework in that area. That can require professional plumbing help.

5. Put New Seals in the Tap

If the tap in particular is leaking, you may be able to repair that on your own. With most taps, you start by removing a decorative cap. That reveals a screw that holds the handle in place—remove both of those elements.

At that point, you need to use a spanner to remove the packing nut. That reveals several internal components. Lift them out one at a time, making sure to keep everything in order on the countertop. When you see the rubber seals, remove them and replace them with new seals. Put everything together, and the leak should be gone. For assistance, talk to a professional like Austwest Plumbing & Gas.