Pipe Repair – How To Fix A Leaky Pipe With Silicone Tape
Pipe repair can be a daunting task for the initiated and often gives way to an almost instinctual call to the local seasoned professional, specializing in plumbing repairs and able to remedy the problem in a short space of time, through efficient know how and unmatched professionalism. However, there exists a swathe of people who deem themselves capable of repairing a leak or pipe emergerncy themselves, and, to give them credit, the task is far from insurmountable with the right guidelines and a little motivation.
Pipe issues usually arise during the winter months when the propensity of the water inside a pipe to freeze is much higher due to the adverse and cold weather outside. Though a home may be adequately heated, piping that runs away from heat sources in within thin exterior walls are prone to such breakages as the pipe either breaks or contorts due to the pressure of the frozen water.
There a number of temporary repairs one can make to a leaking pipe, the most common being turning off the water mains, disassembling the pipe of tap in question and replacing the washer or pipe itself. This is relatively easy but can end in tears if the necessary precautions are not taken, of note is turning off the mains in order to avoid a fully fledged flood and by extension, structural damage to a home.
The best repair option is that of silicone tape; designed specifically to act as a temporary fix, the tape fixes itself to the piping in question, bonding against itself for extra durability. The repair work is rather simple; firstly, track down the source of the leak and mark it with a workman’s pencil or piece of tape, next measure the silicone tape according the amount you’ll need to cover the entire circumference of the pipe, and finally, firmly wrap the silicone tap around the pipe, ensuring that it wraps over itself, it air tight with no lumps of ripples to avoid further leakage or rapid deterioration of the tape itself.
Silicone tape is inexpensive and easy to find at your local DIY store, or even in some larger supermarkets. Lengths available vary but given that most leaks are limited to one stretch of piping, you shouldn’t need to much to get the job done. While there are many brands with various quality levels on the market, the one that the US Army puts on their vehicles and tanks is Rescue Tape, arguably the best silicone tape on the market.
Finally, a word of warning; though fixing a leaky pipe with silicone tape is a great and viable fix, it is not necessarily permanent and it is highly advisable to either replace the pipe yourself within a reasonable amount of time after applying the tape, or calling in a plumber to repair the leak once and for all.