4 Plumbing Quick Fixes You Should Learn

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Phil Puccio

4 quick plumbing fixes that will save the day

When a pipe bursts or equipment leaks, you can’t always afford to wait for a plumber. Water damage will quickly take its toll. Knowing a few basic, but important, quick fix plumbing fixes can make a huge difference in recovery from a plumbing disaster.

Here are some simple repairs you can do to minimize damage before your local odor nuisance plumber arrives on site. These simple workarounds may not sound like much, but they could save you money and save your home from major disasters.

leaky pipe repaired quickly
Leaking pipe

No matter how small a pipe leak is, you don’t want water to rush into your home. Even small drops can turn into big problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of home improvement tools out there to help you find quick solutions to disaster prevention.

Whichever method you choose, start by turning off the water. and measure the circumference of your leaking pipe.

How to turn off the water

To turn off the water to a leaky pipe, find the nearest stop valve. Sinks and toilets have a small button at the bottom to which the water supply is connected. Showers and tubs often have an access door on the opposite side of the wall. Simply turn the shut-off valve counterclockwise to stop the flow of water.

If your leak isn’t near a local shut-off valve, you may need to turn off the water throughout your house until the leak is fixed. Find your water pipe where the municipal water supply enters your home. It has a button or lever valve that you can use to shut off the water supply to your home.

The right repair accessories

Your nearest hardware store should have everything you need to temporarily stop leaking pipes until they can be replaced. If you have iron pipes, buy an epoxy compound. If you have copper, PVC, or anything else, buy a pipe clamp or wrapper.

How to fix a leaky iron pipe: Apply epoxy directly to the leaking pipe like you would with caulk or plumbing putty. The epoxy will temporarily seal the leak.

To repair leaking PVC or copper pipes: Attach or wrap the pipe clamp around the leak. The pressure should hold in the water until you can replace the tube.

Remember, none of these three products offer a permanent solution. While they work admirably as quick fixes, the only foolproof way to permanently fix a leak in the plumbing is to replace the pipe.

Fix leaky pipe connections quickly
Leaky pipe connection

Leaky pipe connections are a little trickier than normal pipe leaks. The angle of the connection can make quick repairs cumbersome or ineffective. Fortunately, there are a few tools out there that are specifically designed to help manage quick fixes to pesky leaks like this one.

Repair sleeves and rubber pipe connectors are flexible enough to wrap around a leaky connection and press on to force water back through the pipe.

To use a rubber pipe connector or repair sleeve: Measurement is important here. Cut the rubber pipe connectors so that they fit snugly around the leak. The plug’s rubber will withstand water if wrapped tight enough, but it won’t last forever. Repair sleeves work well for minor joint leaks. Add a clamp over your rubber sheet to hold it in place.

However, over time, the leak can become wider than the sleeve. In a pinch, you could tape any of these tools up, but keep in mind what a temporary solution would be.

fix cracked porcelain quickly
Broken porcelain

Toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and showers, like anything else, can crack or break. However, unlike everything else, these devices are sometimes full of water. It is easy to panic if the floor of your toilet pops open and floods your bathroom. In such cases, you want to prevent the leak from damaging the floor as soon as possible.

This is where our old pal’s plumbing putty comes in. First, apply plumbing putty to the inside of the leak. Try to push it in as hard as you can. Plumber’s putty is inherently water-resistant, so it should last long enough. After squeezing the putty as much as possible, apply sealant right over it. The sealant helps create a secondary seal and will last longer than plumbing putty, but it would be difficult to apply without the putty. However, neither the sealant nor the putty will last forever, so consider replacing your toilet, sink, or tub soon after.

Quick solutions for defective water heaters
Defective water heater

If your water heater is not working properly, it is likely that sediment has built up in the tank. If a layer of sediment builds up at the bottom of a hot water tank, it blocks the heating element. The water heater is wasting time and energy trying to heat the sediment. You will not get hot water anytime soon and your water heater will be stressed. All water heaters will need to be replaced at some point, but flushing your tank can significantly extend its life.

To rinse your water heater

First turn off the water heater. Run hot water in a sink for about 10 minutes to drain the hot water from the tank. Close the cold water supply on top of the tank, then connect a garden hose to the drain valve. Make sure the hose goes to the nearby floor drain. Re-open the cold water supply WITHOUT closing the drain valve or disconnecting the hose. Watch the water drain until you can’t see any sediment discoloration in it.

For plumbing emergencies in LA

Try these quick fixes for any of the emergencies listed above, then give us a call right away. We can resolve your emergency quickly, effectively and permanently. Mike Diamond has been on the Los Angeles scene since 1976 fixing all kinds of home plumbing issues.

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Category – Plumbing

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