A leaking pipe joint is a common problem that can affect all types of pipes – in fact, it is probably one of the most frequent issues that require a fix in homes and businesses across the nation.
The reason for this is because every pipe no matter what material is susceptible to leaking from a joint. With PVC plastic pipes, joints are typically glued together and over time, this glue can weaken to cause leaks.
Copper piping meanwhile will often start leaking from a joint as a result of the pipe being badly soldered. In older systems, corrosion can cause a weakening of the structure and this too can lead to problems around joints.
Why you should never ignore a leaking joint
In most cases, a leaking joint will seep a minimal amount of water and the temptation can often be to ignore it. After all, a few drips over the course of the day hardly seems worth forking out for the services of a plumber, especially if the pipe in question is not ruining carpet or other household fittings.
To ignore a leaking joint is a risky business, however. Over time, a small amount of escaping water can lead to serious water damage. Floorboards can rot, joists can become damaged and this can impact on the structural integrity of buildings.
If the reason for ignoring a leaking joint is purely financial or not wanting to go through the palaver of finding and hiring a professional, then the good news is that there are several ways to carry out easy repair of leaking joints yourself.
Fix a leaking joint with silicone repair tape
One of the easiest repair methods for a leaking pipe joint is a waterproof silicone repair tape. Such tapes self-amalgamate as they are wrapped around a pipe, fusing to form a solid rubber band over leak areas.
The best silicone tapes will stretch by up to 300 percent, enabling them to create a watertight seal and a high-pressure repair. In industry, building up layers using multiple tapes can create a repair resistant up to 30bar.
One issue with repair tape is that because It requires stretching to be effective, it can be difficult to apply when there are space constraints, such as if the leaking joint is located close to a wall or flooring.
If that is the case, then you can instead turn to repair method number two…
Fix a leaking joint with epoxy putty
Epoxy putty is a repair material that can be applied to pipes even where there is a lack of access. Putties are made up of two soft parts, resin and hardener. When these are mixed together, a chemical reaction takes place which causes the material to cure into a rock-hard material.
To fix a leaking joint using epoxy putty, first wipe the pipe so that it is dry. Then form the putty into a sausage-like shape whilst soft and apply it around the leaking joint, pushing it down onto the pipe to create a tight seal where it will harden to seal the leak.
Epoxy putties come in different formats for different applications. For most leaking joint repairs, an epoxy stick will supply enough putty to make a repair.
Sticks also provide the resin and hardener pre-formatted; there is no need to mix separate parts as you simply cut off the amount of putty required from the stick and knead it until it turns a uniform colour.
Putty sticks will often be formatted for a specific material too to improve the effectiveness of the application. Superfast Copper and Superfast Plastic for example are specially created for the bonding and repair of copper pipe and PVC plastic pipe.