How to Repair a Small Leak with Epoxy Putty
Epoxy putty can be used to fix leaks anywhere in a plumbing line. It is a quick and simple way to repair pipes, fixtures, and fittings at a reasonably low cost. Epoxy putty is unique because of the small amount of time that it takes to set and become effective. Do-it-yourself novices can complete a plumbing repair job with epoxy putty in no time at all.
Step 1 - Find the Leak
Find the leak on a pipe, or fitting, by placing pieces of paper towel or tissue over it. Press down hard and then remove it. Inspect the paper for damp areas and use this to locate the leak. Do this until you are confident that you have found all the places that water is escaping from. Use larger pieces of towel or tissue if you are inspecting a large fitting for leaks.
Release all pressure to the plumbing pipes by temporarily turning the water supply to the house off. Go from room to room and gently turn each tap on. This should clear all plumbing pipes of water and make application of the putty easier.
Step 2 - Prepare the Pipes
You need to prepare the leaky pipe so that the putty will stick and hold securely. The pipes need to be free of all dirt to reduce friction between the putty and the pipe. Use a small piece of sandpaper and gently rub the leaking area. Also, sand roughly 1 to 2 inches along either side of the leaky area. Do not be too rough because this can damage the pipe further. Wipe down the pipe with a cloth to remove dust created by the sandpaper.
Step 3 - Prepare the Putty
Epoxy putty comes in small tubes. Cut off a small section and start to rub it together with the tips of your fingers. It should be relatively soft and easy to manipulate at this early stage. Do this until the surface color changes. It is ready to use once the color has transformed into a single shade.
Step 4 - Apply Putty
Apply the putty by spreading it around the leaky pipe or fitting. Make sure there is an excess over the crack and extend the putty along the pipe or fitting as far as you can. Do not stretch it so much that it will become thin and ineffective. It is important to apply the putty soon after you have finished mixing it. This is because it will go hard very quickly and you risk wasting it if you do not know where to put it.
Step 5 - Finish
Finish by turning the taps off and turning the water supply to the house back on. Wait for one to two hours and go back to check for leaks. Press pieces of paper towel or tissue over the epoxy putty and make sure there are no damp patches. Also, check the edges of the putty to make sure it has sealed tightly against the pipe.