Using waterproof repair tape to seal a leaking pipe

Waterproof pipe repair tape being applied to seal a leaking pipe
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One of the simplest methods to seal a leaking pipe is with waterproof repair tape. Depending on the diameter of the pipe and the size of the leak, repairs can be carried out in less than 10 minutes at a fraction of the cost of seeking the help of a plumber.

The question that fazes a lot of people when it comes to using tape for an emergency pipe repair is which product to go for? There are several different types of waterproof tape available on the market with different levels of effectiveness. How effective a repair method is will often be decided by the type of leak on the pipe.

We have heard of people turning to duct tape and whilst that might seal the initial leak, it is very much a temporary measure. For a start, duct tape is not fully waterproof. Once water starts passing through the pipe in question, then the duct tape will not be much use.

It is unable to cope with even minimal water pressure and is pretty useless if the pipe being repaired is subjected to heat. Using duct tape to repair a leaking pipe is a repair method best avoided.

Basic waterproof tape is a step up on duct tape in that – surprise, surprise – it is waterproof. You might think that makes it the perfect took for fixing a leaking pipe, but there are still caveats that come with waterproof repair tapes.

They are not effective on live leaks for example. If you cannot turn the pressure off on the pipe you are attempting to repair, then waterproof tape will not adhere to the surface. A certain amount of preparation must take place before waterproof tape can be applied. Surfaces need to be clean, smooth and non-porous.

There are also limitations to where waterproof tape can be used. It will not work on seams, automotive applications or in applications where there are extreme temperatures. For simply covering a hole on a low-pressure pipe where the water has been turned off, then a waterproof repair tape will do the job.

When it comes to making a high-quality repair on an under pressure pipe, the best product to use is silicone waterproof repair tape. Silicone tapes can stretch to up to three times their length, which allows them to exert maximum pressure over a leak to seal it even when the flow of water cannot be turned off.

These types of waterproof tapes are also self-amalgamating. As the silicone tape is wrapped around the pipe, the layers fuse to form a watertight, solid rubber band over the leak area.

One average silicone waterproof repair tape can hold around 5bar of pressure. Because it bonds with itself, you can add additional tapes over the top which will keep fusing to increase pressure resistance. In industrial settings, you can make repairs up to 30bar using six silicone repair tapes.

For a typical domestic repair, the pressure will be around 1.5bar. If you need to seal a leaking pipe in your home and are looking for a waterproof repair tape to do it, then a silicone self-fusing tape is often the best option.


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