7 Ways to Deal with Burst Pipes in Your Home

Water, like fire, can cause severe damage to your property and home. Breakage of plumbing pipes can lead to costly floods.

The cost can even be exponential if you live in condominiums such as a quadruplex, a condominium, or an apartment.

Water damage is not limited to your home. Water will follow gravity without limitation and all materials in contact with moisture will need to be replaced to prevent spores and mold. A lot of water can escape when a pipe bursts.

According to Schofields, 400 liters of water can escape from a burst pipe in 1 hour. In 24 hours, about 9,000 liters of water can escape through the pipe.

In homes, the main causes of pipe bursts are caused by the washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, outdoor faucets in your home, and an extended absence from your home left without sufficient heating.

So how do you deal with burst pipes in your home?

1. Use the Caulking Method to Eliminate Leaks at The Joints of Cast Iron Pipes

If the pipe flows — what should be done when it comes to cast iron pipes? If cast-iron sewer pipes are poorly connected, it’ll be more difficult to cope with the situation. It all depends on how their joints were sealed.

In cases where pipes are stained with lead, the following actions are performed:

Clean the joints until the appearance of pure metal:

  • They stamp the slot with lead cones using a blunt chisel (lead easily seals the gap due to its softness).
  • If the pipes were sealed with cement, then do the following.
  • Remove the remnants of old cement using a narrow chisel and a hammer;
  • Removing the old gasket cleanses the gap.
  • Hammer in new tarred strands and close the gap using cement mortar (1 part water to 10 parts cement).

2. Seal the Leak Joint of Pipes with Cement

Using cement to seal the leaky pipe can be effective if it’s not flowing. However, when the pipe is flowing — here’s what you should do aside from using cement.

Follow these steps:

  • Clean the joints of the pipes, remove the old seal (in order to avoid damage to the pipes, while you cannot use heavy tools).
  • Prepare materials necessary for work (wide gauze bandage, some cement).
  • Dissolving the cement in the water before the formation of a slurry, dip the bandage into it.
  • The pipe butt is wrapped with a bandage pretreated with cement mortar.
  • After hardening (about 2 hours), sanding the compound with emery paper and paint over.
  • If it’s required to eliminate the leak in the pipe directly, then the problem is solved differently. Depending on the circumstances, you can choose one of the following methods.

3. Installing the bandage in place of leaks

If a pipe is leaking, the leakage can be temporarily fixed by installing a bandage. First of all, determine the cause of leakage (fistula or leakage) and find the place of the emergency site. Then a rubber band is applied to the site of damage to the pipe.

The procedure is performed in the following sequence:

  • The emergency section of the pipe is put a rubber gasket;
  • It’s tightly pressed to the pipe and secured with a clamp.

Clamps are sold in stores, but if in the critical situation this desired product was not at hand, then it can be done independently.

In emergency situations, if the pipe is leaking and you need to quickly eliminate the leak, the clamp can be replaced with a flexible wire, cord, rope, and hose.

For the bandage, you can take a piece of the boot of a rubber boot, a part of a rubber hose, a thick rubber glove, a part of a watering hose, a bicycle chamber, or something similar that’s on hand.

The width of the bandage is determined on the basis of the diameter of the water (or sewer) (1.5 diameters or more).

4. Sealing the leak with a wooden wedge

When the pipe flows, the water pressure is strong, the tap cannot be closed, the bandage cannot be installed, or does it not hold water, what can be done?

The truth is that this situation, of course, is not enviable.

If the cause of the leak is a fistula, then a small, conical-shaped wooden peg can help out. Its tip should fit the hole in the pipe.

Having inserted the sharp end of the peg into the hole, then hammer it into the pipe with a hammer and thus eliminate the leak. This, of course, is a temporary measure.

Eliminating the flow temporarily, you can more calmly think about where to call if the pipe is flowing?

5. Sealing the leak hole

It’s also possible to eliminate leakage of pipes with the help of adhesive bandage.

In this case, act as follows:

  • Block the water tap.
  • Dry the area requiring repair using a hairdryer;
  • Select a suitable, dense flexible material for sealing the hole (a piece of rubber, plastic, fiberglass, etc.);
  • Glue the selected material to the emergency section of the pipe using epoxy glue.

If fiberglass is used, its length should be such that it’s possible to wrap the pipe at least five times. The width of the bandage is determined on the basis of the diameter of the pipe (at least 1.5 times the diameter).

Glue should be applied to the bandage material using a spatula or brush.

After winding the bandage fabric on the pipe, before the glue dries completely, it’s pressed with ties or clamps. The glue must dry for at least a day (at room temperature) or up to three days (at a temperature of 15 degrees).

6. Elimination of leaks in a plastic pipe

And how to eliminate the leakage of plastic pipes, other than to seal up the leak in a plastic water pipe or sewage pipe?

In this case, it is best to use the adhesive method. To do this, pick up a piece of pipe of suitable diameter and cut it along the length.

Then about 1/3 of the pipe’s surface is cut off in full length, and through the resulting incision, the workpiece is put on the damaged section of the pipe, after having applied the required amount of glue to the surface cleaned with emery paper. Having pressed a collar, allow to dry up to a junction.

7. Screw the bolt into the leak hole

To the question “what to do if the pipe is flowing because of the presence of a fistula in it?” The answer can be quite simple since this method has been known for a long time.

A small hole is drilled in the pipe at the site of the fistula and a bolt is screwed into it on the oil paint.

Remember that this method is applicable only on large-diameter pipes, and also new ones. For old pipes, it should not be used: the bolt will not hold water, and it will not work well to screw it in. All your attempts will only increase the hole.

Replacing a damaged pipe section

If the pipe is flowing, what to do in emergency cases with metal pipes?

  • First of all, block the water supply.
  • Then cut off the problematic part of the pipe, using a hacksaw for metal or “grinder” (30 cm above the site of damage).
  • Disconnect closest to the point of cutting the threaded connection pipe.
  • Carefully cut the thread on the cut-off stationary end of the pipe (the end of the pipe is held with a pipe wrench).
  • On the formed thread screw coupling.
  • Determine how long the pipe should be installed instead of the cut, taking into account the section with thread.
  • Cut the thread on both sides of the selected new pipe section.
  • Connect the newly selected section of the pipe with water through a coupling, holding it with a second pipe wrench.


Before screwing in the coupling, the threaded connection of the nipple must be sealed with flax and sealing putty or a special “tape fum”.

Although the described method is intended for use in metal pipes, it can also be used in other types of pipes.

And yet, if the question arises how to eliminate a leak in the pipe, it is better to seek help from a master plumber.

Written by Tanya Klien

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