What is a pipe repair clamp and how does it work?

A pipe repair clamp can provide a cheap and easy repair for leaking pipework in domestic settings
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A Pipe repair clamp can provide one of the most straightforward solutions to fixing a leaking pipe. They are simple to use, effective on pipes of all sizes and materials and are stocked by most home improvement stores.

How does a pipe repair clamp work?

Pipe Repair clamps consist of a metal sleeve with a flexible rubber pad inside. To fix the leaking pipe, you simply place the rubber part of the clamp over the area requiring repair, before tightening the screws and nuts which fix the clamp in place.

Once fixed in position, the pipe repair clamp will provide a seal over the leak area. When applied properly, a good pipe repair clamp will be effective for many years.

What are the benefits of a pipe repair clamp?

Pipe repair clamps are cheap and easy to use, which makes them a cost-effective alternative to other methods of pipe repair.

Clamps can be picked up for as little as £10; compare that to the £40 average hourly rate for a plumber in the United Kingdom and you can see why clamps are such a popular alternative.

Anyone can install a pipe repair clamp and problems can be fixed quickly – it’s simply a case of visiting your local home improvements store, buying a clamp and fixing the leaking pipe.

Homemade pipe repair clamps

An alternative to industry produced pipe repair clamps are homemade clamps. These are surprisingly easy to make, requiring only a piece of heavy rubber from an old bicycle inner tube and a C-clamp.

The homemade repair clamp works in exactly the same away. You place the rubber over the leaking area and then use the C-clamp to hold it in place. This method of repair may not be as long-lasting as a factory manufactured pipe repair clamp, but it will still fix the leak temporarily until a more permanent solution can be found.

Where can pipe repair clamps be fitted?

Pipe repair clamps are suitable for most of the pipes found in domestic settings. They can be used on steel, cast iron, plastic and copper pipes.

When using a clamp on softer materials, you should be careful about how much you tighten it as you could end up bending the pipe out of shape, causing further complications.

For more technical repairs such as in industry, it will often be better to seek specialist pipe repair equipment. Some clamps may not otherwise be able to handle the pressure, temperature or chemical makeup of what is being transported through the pipe.

If attempting to repair pipework in an aggressive environment, you should always consult the technical datasheet of the product you are intending to use before undertaking any work.

Where don’t pipe repair clamps work?

Pipe repair clamps do have certain limitations, especially when it comes to repairing leaks on elbow bends or sections of tee pipe.

For the clamp to work effectively, it needs to be able to tighten fully around the pipe which isn’t possible when the pipe in question doesn’t run straight – such as in this sprinkler system pipe repair in a furniture workshop.

When this is the case, other solutions such as pipe repair tape, pipe repair bandages or epoxy putty can help to provide a more versatile repair.

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