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Seal leaky pipes

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Sealing leaky pipes in your home or office can save water and money from going down the drain.

How to seal leaky pipes

Leaks come in different shapes and sizes. For large leaks, a plumber equipped with a leak detection device is advisable. But fixing a pinhole leak in a water pipe is a job that even a novice do-it-yourselfer can accomplish. All one needs is epoxy glue, toothpicks, and gauze or a sturdy cloth. Here's how to do it:

  1. Insert the toothpicks (one or more as necessary) as far as they will go into the hole.
  2. Wait for the water to cause the toothpicks to swell. This should stop the leak.
  3. Break off the part of the toothpick that is sticking out of the pipe.
  4. Prepare the epoxy glue according to the instructions on its packaging. Then apply a healthy dab around the toothpick-filled leak point, as well as a line of glue around the pipe's diameter.
  5. Wrap the gauze or cloth tightly around the diameter of the pipe so it sticks to the glue. Add more glue around the edges, where the cloth/gauze meets the pipe, and wherever you feel it appropriate to secure the cloth/gauze in place.
  6. Once the glue dries, your pipe is sealed.

Note: Epoxy glue can be bought at a hardware store. If you have any concerns, ask a hardware professional about what kinds of cloth or gauze are most appropriate for holding epoxy glue in place.

Sealing leaky pipes help you go green because…

  • It prevents water from slipping down drains unused.
  • It can save energy too: less hot water wasted means less energy used to heat the water that a household actually uses.

American households consume 47 percent of the water supplied by US utilities.[1] Unfortunately, leaky plumbing and other bad water habits contribute to a growing water waste problem in the US. Indeed, leaky pipes, toilets, and faucets account for 14 percent of US household water waste alone. Those who live in older buildings—35 years old or more—are most at risk for leaks because of aging pipes. [2]

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