You’re coming home from work thinking about what to cook for dinner, whether there’s laundry to be done, if your child has completed his homework, thinking that it’s not so bad, at least the day is ending soon. The last thing you want is for your maid to tell you that you’ve got a pipe leaking and the bathroom floor’s flooded! Plumbing leakages can be very annoying and when there’s water going everywhere it can cause a lot of damage to your house.
Depending on the types of leak and how bad the situation is, you can either do something to stop it or find a way temporary solution to stop the leak. Don’t wait until an emergency happens before figuring out what you ‘should’ve’ done – next time your maid jumps at you with a leak, follow these steps:
1. Don’t Panic & Minimise The Damage
When a leakage happens unexpectedly, you can expect some areas to be affected by the water or come home to a damp floor. If the leak is in your kitchen, remove food items in the cabinet or kitchen appliances if they have gotten wet (make sure they are unplugged and not wet before touching them!). Look out if any electrical outlet has been in contact with water and turn off the main power to your house if necessary.
If you can’t stop a very bad leak eventhough you’ve turned the tap or faucet off, find where your water mains is and turn off the entire water supply.
2. Find The Source Of The Leak
If it is not obvious where the leak is coming from, start by checking along the piping. The parts in the middle of the body usually would not leak unless it is structurally damaged.
A huge possibility is that the leakages are coming out from the joints in the plumbing.
3. Fix It Yourself ONLY If You Know How
A little leak should be an easy fix right? Well, sometimes we just have to be honest with ourselves when we don’t know a thing about pipes and plumbing. Something like a small leak can turn into a huge flood if you start dismantling and tightening in places where you shouldn’t be.
The key here is to learn to know your own limits and whether or not you need professional help. You can give your plumber a call and ask him for help over the phone to stop the leak temporarily before he gets to your house.
4. Using A Plumber’s Tape
For most pipe and faucet leaks, you may only need to put plumber’s tape around the thread of the pipe ends. It comes in a form of a very thin film also known as a ‘Teflon Tape’ or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene).
You can find this tape in most hardware stores – so the next time you go out, get yourself a roll and keep it at home for emergencies. To use a plumber’s tape:
- First, disconnect the piping joints or faucet top. Then, wrap the tape around the ‘thread’ at the pipe ends.
- Next, screw the joints back together and turn on the water supply to see if the pipes are still leaking. If the parts are still leaking, try adding another layer of tape on the threads and check again whether the leak persists.
As these solutions are may be temporary and if you yourself are not so sure about what you’ve fixed, contact a plumber for their help.