How to Create Temporary Seals for Leaking Pipes

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Leaking pipes are never a welcome part of your day. However, you can make a temporary seal on a pipe until you or a plumber can fix the pipe permanently. Take quick action to prevent serious water damage to your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl or pot
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Electrical tape
  • Bicycle inner tube
  • Pipe clamps
  • Place a large bowl, pot or towel under the leaky pipe if you can, to collect some of the escaping water. Shut off the main water valve that brings water to your home. This valve is usually in the ground somewhere in your yard, often close to the road.

  • Turn on a faucet in the house to drain all the water out of the pipes. If your home has more than one story, turn on a faucet located on the first floor.

  • Dry the pipe with a towel. The pipe needs to be completely clean and dry, so you may need to clean the pipe with rubbing alcohol and then dry it again. If the pipe is in a tight space, you can dry the pipe with a hair dryer.

  • Know that the material you use to fix the leak depends on the size of the leak. If it's a small leak, you can temporarily seal it with electrical tape. However, if it's a larger leak, you can seal it with a bicycle inner tube and a pipe clamp or two.

  • Seal a small leak by wrapping the pipe with electrical tape. Start about two inches above the leak and wrap the tape around the pipe until you are about two inches below the leak. Add another layer of tape, wrapping from the bottom to the top.

  • Prevent water from escaping from a large leak with the bicycle inner tube and pipe clamps. Cut a piece of inner tube that is large enough to wrap around the pipe with overlapping ends. Put the pipe clamps around the inner tube wrapped pipe to squeeze the tube tight around the leak.

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