Leaks in galvanized pipes present special problems. Threaded connections can often be tightened to stop a leak. But if a pipe has developed a hole, replacing that section of pipe is the ultimate solution. In the meantime, a good temporary fix is to use one of the many varieties of repair clamps available. Repair clamps, also called patch clamps, are usually made of wide stainless steel bands with an integral rubber seal. The clamp fits over the pipe and is tightened by means of one or more bolts. They can work so well you might forget you ever had a leak at all.
Things You'll Need
- Steel wool
- Emery cloth
- Felt tip pen
- Pipe repair clamp
- Torque wrench
- Deep sockets
Turn off the water supply.
Clean the area around the leak with steel wool or emery cloth until the pipe is smooth and shiny. Make sure there are no burrs, grooves or other irregularities that could interfere with the rubber seal of the clamp.
Hold the repair clamp beside the pipe so it's centered over the leak. Mark the location of the leak and the position of the clamp edges with a felt tip pen. Make sure you will be able to see the marks once the clamp is placed on the pipe.
Disassemble the repair clamp according to the manufacturer's instructions. Slip the clamp over the pipe and reassemble it, using the marks on the pipe to help you position the body of the clamp centrally over the leak.
Insert the bolts into the clamp lugs. Tighten the nuts with a torque wrench and deep socket. Tighten the nuts equally, working from the center of the clamp outward, until you reach the manufacturer's recommended torque.
Turn on the water and check for leaks.
Tips & Warnings
- Pipe that is extremely rough or damaged around the leak may require the use of a sealant, gasket lubricant or epoxy coating in order for a patch clamp to form a good seal. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Photo Credit Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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