Plumbing 101: How to Fix Small Pipe Leaks



A leaky pipe is one of the most common problems in households. It can start small but eventually snowball into a full-blown disaster if left untreated. Hiring a plumber can be very expensive and may not be worth the price to fix a small pipe leak.

There are several ways to fix a leaking pipe, and you can do these solutions yourself. Check out three methods below.


Preparing for Repair

Before commencing your repair, there are a few important steps you need to do to stop the problem from getting worse, as well as prepare the area for repair.

  1. Turn off the water supply to stop the leak. This should be the first thing you should do when you notice a leaky pipe unless the damaged area is part of the drain. In which case, there’s no need to shut off the water supply.
  2. Drain the remaining water inside the pipe. You can run the faucet nearest to the leak or turn on the tap outside until all the water runs out. Prepare a drum or bucket to collect the water so that it doesn’t go to waste.
  3. Remove rust and obstructions. The pipe must be clean and rust-free to ensure the fixes stay in place and to avoid rust-related problems on the same pipe.
  4. Dry off the affected area. After draining the pipe, wipe it thoroughly with a cloth, and leave it to dry before applying any fixes.
  5. Prepare the necessary tools. The tools you will use depends on the solution you chose. Once you’ve done the first three steps above, run to the closest hardware store, and get what you need to fix the leak.


Three Ways to Fix a Small Pipe Leak


1. Patching with Epoxy Putty and Pipe-Repair Bandage

An epoxy putty will provide a temporary patch until you can replace the leaky pipe or call a plumber to do the work. For this fix, what you need are the following:

  • Epoxy putty
  • Latex or nitrile gloves
  • Pipe-repair bandage
  • Container or dipper with water
  1. Put on latex or nitrile gloves every time you handle the epoxy putty. The putty can get warm as you mold it and injure your bare hand.
  2. Get a chunk of epoxy putty, and mold the piece until it’s smooth and evenly dark or light gra Refer to the product instructions to determine whether the complete mixture should be a dark or a light gray.
  3. Apply the epoxy putty on the leaky pipe, completely covering the entire section. Make sure the putty is half an inch thick for maximum protection.
  4. Get the pipe-repair bandage, and dip in the container filled with water for five Inside the container, squeeze the bandage two times before taking it out.
  5. Use the entire bandage to wrap around the epoxy putty. Make sure it’s warped tightly and securely. You need to do this step quickly because the bandage will start to set and dry within two minutes after getting soaked.
  6. Remove and throw away the plastic tube at the end of the bandage
  7. Wet your gloved hands, and press the resin bubbles on the surface of the bandage until the area is completely smooth.
  8. Leave the epoxy and bandage to dry for several minutes before turning on the water again.


2.  Using a Rubber Gasket and Clamps

A rubber gasket and clamp also provide a temporary fix to a leaky pipe. If you don’t have time to fix the problem permanently, you can use this method to stop the leak until the weekend or your next day off.

What you need for this fix:

  • Rubber gasket
  • Two clamps or plates
  • Bolts and nuts that came with clamps
  • Wrench


  1. Get the rubber gasket, and place it on the hole in the pipe.
  2. Secure the gasket with clamps. Fit the clamps around the gasket, then use a wrench to tighten the bolts and nuts on the clamps. Avoid using too much force while securing the bolts and nuts; otherwise, it may damage the pipe.
  3. Turn on the water to test whether the rubber gasket and clamps are secure enough.


3.  Fixing with Slip Coupling

The only way to permanently fix a leaky pipe is to cut the damaged area and replace it with a new pipe or a slip coupling. For this, you will need these materials:

  • Marker
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pipe cutter
  • Slip coupling
  • Deburring tool


  1. Get slip coupling that’s the same material as that of your pipe. Make sure the size matches the pipe too.
  2. Mark the area where you need to cut the pipe. Get the slip coupling, and hold it against the damaged area. Draw lines to indicate the length of the slip coupling on the pipe.
  3. Use a pipe cutter to cut the damaged part following the mark you drew.
  4. Use a deburring tool to clean and smoothen the edges of the pipe.
  5. Insert the slip coupling on one end of the pipe, then push to the other end until they’re connected. Use your hand or a wrench to tighten the clips of the coupling.


Do-It-Yourself Home Repairs

Plumbing issues often occur in households, so homeowner owners should learn a thing or two about fixing minor problems. Like leaks, clogs also happen often, especially toilet blockage.

You can prevent a leak by covering your pipes with insulating foam and setting the correct water pressure. You can also prevent toilet clogs by not flushing toilet paper, diapers, tampons, and other wastes down the drain. You may also invest in a toilet with a macerating motor that breaks down wastewater.

Most minor plumbing problems at home have simple fixes that every homeowner can do. They only need to take time to learn plumbing basics and familiarize themselves with certain tools and repair kits.


Are you proficient at doing minor household plumbing tasks?

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

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