A water leak is a serious problem that needs to be fixed quickly to prevent further damage. If you suspect a leak, check under sinks, in crawl spaces and around outdoor water features.
Shut off all faucets and the water meter. Then, mark the location of the leak with stakes and a taut string.
1. Turn Off the Water
Ideally, you want to fix plumbing leak before they cause significant damage. But not all leaks are the same, and some require more immediate attention than others. For this reason, it’s important to understand how to shut off your water supply and how to identify the location of a leak in order to take the necessary steps for repair.
Minimal damage leaks may not seem like a big deal at first, but they will certainly add up over time and lead to expensive water bills. These types of leaks are often found in leaking faucets or toilets, but they can also be caused by faulty sprinkler heads and water fountain auto-fill features.
To prevent these type of leaks, start by checking your water meter. If the red triangle or blue star is spinning or the large sweep hand is moving, it’s likely that a hidden leak is present in your home or business. Then, turn off all the faucets in your home and go out for a few hours or even better, overnight. This will give any remaining water in your pipes a chance to drain.
2. Dig Out the Trench
A water 配管漏水 repair requires a trench for the plumber to dig down to the damaged pipe and replace it. A professional crew will call DigAlert first to mark where any existing water, sewer, gas, communication, or electrical lines are before they start digging. This will prevent them from accidentally cutting any of these lines while digging a trench or hole that could cause more expensive problems down the road.
You can help them find the right spot by driving a stake near your water meter and another one where potable water enters your house. Then, run a taut string between the two stakes to locate the area where soft, wet ground intersects.
Once the plumber has dug out a trench, they will line it with sand to about an inch deep. This will keep sharp rocks and soil from damaging the new pipe. They may also bed the new pipe in gravel to protect it from shearing off or settling out of place. They should also make sure the trench slopes downhill to transport excess water away from the site of the repair.
3. Apply a Patch
A quick, temporary fix to a water leak is patching the pipe. After turning off the water, wipe away any water and rust from the area around the leak and smooth any sharp edges with a metal file or sandpaper. Then, apply a patch and a repair clamp. You can find a patch kit at the hardware store that includes a rubber pad for pinhole leaks and a metal clamp for larger breaks, or you can make your own using a heavy rubber band and a hose clamp.
If you use a patch kit, follow the directions to cut the neoprene or rubber material into a 1-inch square for pinhole leaks and a longer strip for larger leaks. Then, center the patch over the hole and install the repair clamp so that it evenly overlaps the damaged section of pipe. For a better seal, tighten the clamp’s screws. Finally, move any rugs or other belongings away from the area to allow it to dry. If the leak is in a hard-to-access place, you can also consider installing an additional shut-off valve near the leak with a quarter-turn handle.
4. Clamp the Patch
If a pipe or hot water tank is leaking, you need to secure it while you wait for your plumber to arrive. Left unattended, a water 配管漏水 can cause damage to floors and walls, and may even lead to a mildew problem.
Shut off the valve that controls water flow to the damaged pipe (see How to Shut Off Your Water Supply).
Apply a repair clamp. You can buy these at most home improvement stores. Some types of clamps use a rubber sleeve to wrap around the pipe; others require you to disconnect the pipe and center the sleeve over it.
Choose a clamp that is the right size for your pipe and that is designed for the type of leak you’re dealing with, such as a pin hole, crack, or circular break. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a strong and reliable seal. You may need to use a rag or wire brush to clean the surface of your copper pipe before you attach the clamp, to make sure that it adheres well and creates a tight seal.
5. Turn On the Water
Often, a water leak in your home won’t cause any noticeable damage. If you do notice wet flooring or a damp patch in your wall, it’s best to call a plumber right away before the problem gets out of hand.
Before you begin any water leak repair, it’s a good idea to shut off the water supply in the area of your house or business where the leak is. You can usually find a shut-off valve underneath sinks, toilets or next to appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher. You can also turn off the water at your water meter using a shut-off valve located outside the home.
Once you have the water supply turned off, you can test to see if you have an interior or exterior leak by checking your water meter. Make sure that no one is using water in the house or business and watch for the red “telltale” indicator or sweep-hand to move. If it moves even though everything is turned off, you have a water leak.
6. Inspect the Repair
Checking pipes regularly and implementing water leak repair quickly can prevent costly damage to your home or building. Start by checking all exposed plumbing outside and inside your house/building including toilets, kitchen sink faucets, shower valves, hot water heater, washing machine, hose-bibs and any other appliances that use water. Also, survey your property to see if you can hear water leaking under any concrete or in the garden. Once you have surveyed the exposed plumbing and shut off any water using appliances look at your water meter for movement, as this would indicate a water leak.
If you do spot a leak, shut off the water supply by turning the valve to the off position (see How to Shut Off the Water Supply). Depending on the size of the break, it may be possible to patch and clamp the pipe for a quick fix. Use a neoprene rubber patch and properly sized pipe repair clamp to make the leaky area water tight. Be sure to smooth sharp edges of the patch and clamp with a metal file.
7. Fill the Trench
If you don’t stop a water leak, it can lead to serious damage. You may have drywall damage, floor rot or even mold. If left unchecked, the damage could cost you more money in the long run.
Fortunately, most pipe leaks are easy to spot and can be fixed with a quick DIY solution. Before you call in a professional plumber, try these tips for a quick fix:
First, locate the source of the leak. This should be pretty straightforward since it will be obvious if the water is spraying through walls or dripping from a ceiling. If you can’t find the source, check behind appliances like the refrigerator or washing machine or around your water meter. It’s also worth checking in the basement if your water line is in the basement or below ground level.
8. Call a Plumber
Whenever you notice signs of water damage in your home, even minimal ones like discoloration of the ceiling, call in a plumber to investigate. They’ll be able to determine the cause of the leak and repair it.
If you’re unsure where the leak is coming from, shut off all of your water-using appliances and write down the position of the dial on your water meter. Then, wait for a few hours and re-check the meter. If the needle has moved significantly, it could mean that you have a hidden water leak.
Many of these hidden leaks are caused by things like faulty toilet flappers, loose faucets, and old worn out pipes. If left unattended, they can lead to major problems like mold and mildew, or sagging ceilings that require expensive repairs. If you spot any of these symptoms, turn off the water and contact a plumber as soon as possible to prevent further damage. In addition to repairing the leak, they’ll be able to advise you on the best way to protect your property and prevent future problems.