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A broken or cracked pipe can cause multiple problems, including flooding and subsequent water damage, blockages and contamination, not to mention the costs incurred through water wastage. Should your pipe crack or break, it’s important to act quickly, in order to prevent any further damage. Below are steps on how to fix your cracked pipe temporarily, until a licensed professional can resolve the problem properly.
Common Causes Of Cracked Pipes
The most common types of pipes are made of plastic, which while reliable, can be susceptible to more damage than pipes made from other materials. Tree roots and harsh weather conditions can both lead to cracks of all sizes forming, and are often difficult to find until signs of contamination become apparent. Another common cause of a cracked pipe is pressure build up. This can be caused by an accumulation of debris, waste food and other discarded materials. Water will try to flow through the path of least resistance, putting intense pressure on the pipe and leading to cracks forming and/or widening. Another common cause of cracked pipes is accidently hitting or puncturing a pipe during landscaping, renovation or remodelling projects. A professional can help you avoid this problem in the first place by mapping out everything in order to avoid causing any damage to pipes.
As pipes are located underground and can be difficult to reach, fixing them adequately can be a major challenge. In order to prevent constant leaks, blockages and contamination, a professional solution is necessary to properly address the issue. As a temporary solution, here’s what you can do:
Assess The Damage
Before doing anything, it’s important to turn off the water immediately if you notice a problem with your pipe. Depending on the type of crack that forms, sometimes the entire length of pipe won’t need to be replaced. It’s up to you to ascertain the damage. If cracked all the way down between joints, this usually indicates that the entire pipe should be replaced. Hairline cracks are more difficult to deal with than larger ones, and often require professional help. Generally speaking, a hole or a crack that is small in size can be fixed easily.
Get Your Sealant
Cracks can be temporarily fixed with sealant; however, the pipe will need to be prepared accordingly. If dealing with a plastic pipe, bear in mind that it handles sealant differently, and will sometimes require a bit of sandpapering on the edges to make it rougher, and easier for the material to adhere to. This will allow proper contact of the sealant onto the pipe’s surface, making it more durable.
Apply The Sealant
Depending on the material of the pipe, most hardware stores will stock sealants designed specifically, either for plastic or PVC, depending on your piping. The sealant will need to be applied with a small applicator tube, over the crack. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions for the correct instructions. Incorrectly applying the sealant can cause a pressure build up, which can cause further problems and lead to the entire pipe needing to be replaced.
Apply Some Pressure To The Pipe
Keep the sealant in place in order to adhere properly and stop the crack adequately. Avoid applying too much pressure, as this can lead to the crack potentially spreading.
By following these 4 steps, you should be able to temporarily fix your cracked pipe problem, until it can be properly dealt with by a trained professional from Art Plumbing, AC & Electric. A temporary fix is not recommended as a long-term solution, and can lead to further problems if not addressed. Give us a call today!