How To Tackle A Leaky Pipe

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Water and drainage pipes can leak for a variety of reasons and you don’t always need a plumber to fix them. Follow the points below and you might even save having to get a plumber in altogether.

Drainage pipes

Drainage pipes under your sink or bath can develop leaks at the joints due to the seal ageing or after the assembly has been moved. The leak can be made worse by over tightening too. Using one pipe wrench to hold the pipe and another to turn the connection, tighten the connection slightly. This will often fix the problem.

If this does not resolve it, remove the pipe at the joint. Holding the centre section with a pipe wrench, undo the nut and pull it back along the centre section. Firstly, push the pipe in until it stops – this may resolve the issue altogether. Try taping the joint with PTFE tape and then reassembling the drainage system. Test it with running water.

If this doesn’t resolve the problem then you will need to replace the joint altogether. Pop down to the DIY store and replace like for like.

Water pipes

This can be an issue that requires professional involvement. The first thing you should do when you discover the leak is to go to the stopcock for that pipe, or the home’s water main depending on where the problem is. Turn this off. For the mains stopcock this is often just a tap under a small manhole, where inside the home you may need a flathead screwdriver to turn off the supply.

Put a water container under the leak and wait while it drains off the water. Dry it.

The next question really determines whether you need a professional in or not – is the leak at a joint? If it is then get a spanner and tighten the nut. Turn the water on and see if it leaks again.

If the joint leaks after tightening or if the leak comes from a crack in the pipe (perhaps due to frost) then turn off the water supply again, dry it out and while doing so call for a local plumber. If you don’t want to pay out of hours fees but need your water for whatever reason, then wait until the joint is bone dry and then duck-tape it. Be generous with the duck-tape and this may be a temporary repair that gets you through the weekend or bank holiday before calling the plumber in during the week!