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5 Ways to Contain Water Damage til the Plumber Arrives
Residential and commercial plumbing repairs are never something we hope to encounter, but the truth is, 700 U.S. water mains break each day on average. Freezing pipes are the second most common cause of property damage. Should you need emergency repairs, it is good to already have a plan in place until the plumber can arrive, because every second counts when it comes to plumbing emergencies. Here are a few measures that might help control the damage until the experts arrive.
Epoxy is a type of glue that can work on cast iron pipes. If you could see where the leak is, you can patch it up until a replacement is available. This is not a long term solution and in the case of commercial plumbing repairs, epoxy compounds may not be the best option. It all depends on your emergency. Different pipe materials may not be susceptible to epoxy, but for the most part, the compound should work quite well.
It's good to have pipe clamps on hand, because they are sturdy enough to hold a broken pipe together for a little bit. Pipe clamps are used on airplanes and submarines so you know they're pretty strong. While they don't entirely solve the issue, they control it pretty well until a professional can do what needs to be done. If your broken pipe is at a residence, you may not be able to get to the pipe in order to apply the clamp, but commercial plumbing repairs are little easier to access. However, either way, once the plumber gets there, they can assess the situation and figure out what to do. Clamps can hold on for awhile, though, so don't feel panicked if the plumber is not able to come immediately.
Rubber pipe connectors can be used with the leak is on the joint or in the middle. These rubber connectors are supposed to be wrapped tightly around the pipe to stop the leak. In order to do the job properly, it does require some cutting, so if you don't know what you're doing then do not attempt to use rubber couplings or connectors. There are other options that are available to contain water damage until a plumber can get to you, so do not attempt a task that you are unfamiliar with.
Pipe wraps are a better option for residential problems, because they are easily available at most hardware stores. Once you wrap it around the pipe to patch the leak, the wrap will harden in place. You can think of these as a mix between epoxy glue and rubber pipe connectors. These are fairly friendly "non expert" temporary solutions that don't require a lot of prior knowledge aside from where the leak or crack is. They work anywhere on the pipe and for all kinds of leaks. These are probably the best solution to use, because they are the easiest to buy and apply. Plus, there's really no way to get it wrong or make the situation worse.
These are not the same kind of sleeves that are used to insulate pipes during winter. Repair sleeves are more similar to clamps and work well for smaller repairs. They do not stop the crack from spreading, so again, this is not a permanent solution. The pipe will hold for a few days, though, with a repair sleeve if necessary.
Commercial plumbing repairs can be a much bigger deal than a household plumbing leak, simply because of the potential magnitude of the problem. Correcting plumbing leaks can save owners more than 10% on their water bills, so you definitely want to get leaks fixed as fast as possible.