There are plenty of reasons why many homes and corporate facilities use copper piping. They have excellent pressure ratings, copper offers good resistance to heat, and the material is quite durable. However, like all types of pipes, copper pipes are also prone to develop leaks every now and then.
This post is going to shed light on how just about anybody with access to a couple of tools can fix a leaky copper pipe. The process is quite straightforward.
However, there is just one thing that you are going to find a bit annoying, and that’s locating the source of the leak and turning off the water supply. If you are confident you can repair your copper pipe, read on!
Pinhole Leaks in Copper Piping
Regardless of the location of the leak, be it your bathroom, kitchen, or the water heater. A copper pipe leak can be a frustrating problem. And if left unattended, it could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Sure, the obvious tactic here would be to call in a professional plumber. However, at times, fixing the leak can be a DIY (do it yourself) operation.
But at times, the cost of a plumber can also discourage homeowners from calling in one and fixing the problem themselves.
Fortunately, this is a problem you can fix on your own. So, here is how you can fix a leaky copper pipe:
6 Effective ways you can repair copper pipes yourself
1. Using pipe clamps
You can find pipe clamps at the local hardware store; they’re cheap and make for a great do-it-yourself plumbing operation to fix leaky copper pipes. Albeit, you have to understand that at one point or another, you are going to have to replace the pipe altogether if the leaks start to show somewhere else on the pipe.
Clamps are durable, and similar piping clamps are also used on submarines and even aircraft carriers. So rest assured, these clamps will offer an optimal solution until you can call in a plumbing professional.
If you don’t want to buy a traditional piping clamp or if one isn’t available near you, you can easily make it yourself. You are just required to use a massive piece of rubber. You can harvest the rubber from an old inner tube. Look for an old rubber C-clamp pipe you can use.
2. Slip couplings
Slip coupling is another watertight method of blocking the leak. They are small and easy to use. However, before opting for one, make sure it is the right size and type. Moreover, ensure that the coupling matches the diameter of your copper pipe.
3. Epoxy copper pipe putty
Another way to beat a pesky pipe leak is to seal it with a powerful adhesive. You should buy a product that contains epoxy copper fillers and resin. It will stick to the metal well and is going to set very hard. Plus, the color of this type of epoxy is the same as copper pipes. But more importantly, it works fast.
To prepare the solution, don’t forget first to put on a pair of rubber gloves. Don’t open the epoxy tube without gloves on. You just need to pick a small kitchen knife to cut a small part of the putt.
Remove the plastic liner wrapped on the external portion of the putty you cut out. Remember just to cut enough to comfortably wrap around the leaky portion of the pipe (1-inch will be enough).
Keep in mind that for older pipes, you’d be better off replacing them with new ones.
4. Use rubber connectors for copper pipes
If the leaks are in the middle of the pipe or on the joint itself, you can use rubber connectors. You can wrap them around the pipe to effectively tighten the leak.
The connectors can help stop the water flow from the leak and prevent it from pooling around your washing machine, toilet, kitchen sink, or wherever the leak is. However, you may have to cut the coupling to size.
5. Pipe wraps
You can also go for a pipe wraps that are built to harden around leaky pipes effectively. It is pretty easy to find these products at your local hardware store and are easy to use.
Piping wraps are the same as epoxy in terms of the fact that you just need to attach/ stick them in the right place. You can use the wraps for all sorts of pipes, including copper. In addition, you can also fix pipe cracks using adhesive wraps.
You can also buy waterproof tapes and adhesive sticks to easily rub on the leak or bad spot. These adhesive wraps or sticks are made from special compounds. However, remember first to turn off the water supply, clean the pipe, and let it dry.
6. Repair sleeves
Repair sleeves are perfect for repairing pinhole leaks on copper pipes. They are just like clamps and provide a strong fix but for a short period of time. You can use repair sleeves for smaller leaks and cracks.
However, understand that if you don’t have the leak repaired, the problem is going to spread to the entire pipe.
Remember, many of the techniques mentioned to repair leaky copper pipes are great, yet they aren’t permanent solutions. Never depend on temporary fixes, and call in a professional plumber so that a small leak doesn’t turn into a plumbing catastrophe.