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Fix a Leaking Copper Pipe

Q: I have a leaking copper pipe supply line in the basement. Is there a quick fix for this, or should I call a plumber?

 

A: For a quick fix at the pipe joint, try using plumber’s epoxy. Disconnect the water supply upstream from the leak and clean away any oil or dust from the surface of the pipe. Plumber’s epoxy comes in a clay-like ribbon. Tear off two strips and knead the putty until it covers the leak, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Turn back on the water and inspect the area for any leaks. Add more putty if necessary. The plumber’s epoxy is only a temporary fix, so you’ll soon need to address the issue with a permanent repair. Other leak-repair options include sleeve clamps, dresser couplings, or 1/16-inch-thick bicycle-tube patch with hose clamps. You can also remove the damaged section of pipe and replace with new copper or PEX supply line, using compression couplers.

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