How to Make Your Own Emergency Pipe Repair Kit
by Guest Post on Feb 27, 2013
Few things can cause as much inconvenience as a busted water pipe. Whether you're dealing with the outlet pipe from a water heater or a more inaccessible piece of plumbing located in the interior walls of your home, a busted water pipe can mean potential hazards in the form of flooding and electrical shorts.
While most homeowners already have tools available to provide a temporary solution, it usually involves a great deal of searching, and trial and error when it comes to using them. That's why it's important to prepare ahead of time by assembling a homemade repair kit that can do the job when time is of the essence. A quick fix may not last forever, but it's the first step in saving you a lot of money.
- Pipe Cutter- there are two types of pipe cutters; one for plastic PVC pipes, and another for metal and copper pipes. If you're not sure which types of pipes run through your home, it's best to be prepared with both types. Pipe cutters allow you to severe the damaged portion and insert valve fittings.
- Steel Wool- before you replace any section of the pipe you need to clean the inside of the pipe and surface area with steel wool. This helps the valve fitting to remain secure during soldering.
- Soldering Flux- when you're attempting to join two metals by soldering, applying a paste called soldering flux will create a solid bond. Soldering flux comes in three varieties; R Fluxes for surfaces that aren't heavily worn, RMA Fluxes for mildly worn surfaces, and RA Fluxes for heavily rusted or worn surfaces.
- Propane Torch- any repair kit should begin with a good propane torch. Remember that soldering irons will not do the job, so make sure to look for a soldering torch. Propane torches are best for copper pipes because they don't burn as hot. MAPP gases burn the hottest and are useful for harder pipes. Butane is slightly more expensive, but it is the least toxic gas available.
- Valve Fittings- this is one of the tools that might require a little research. Knowing the exact size of the pipes in your home will help you stockpile a variety of fittings to fit your needs. If you have PVC pipes, you'll be able to make do with adjustable fittings. It's also good to have one-way, two-way and three-way fittings available.
- Water Proof Tape- for a temporary solution to a small leak, the waterproof tape can fix your pipes until you can find a more permanent answer. Electrical tape is also an effective remedy in an emergency.
- Safety Gear- anytime you work with a soldering torch you run the risk of injuring yourself from fumes, stray materials, hot metal, and UV light. It's important to use work gloves, safety goggles, and in some cases, fume masks to protect you from hazardous materials.
- Portable Hair Dryer- you may need to thaw out frozen pipes before you can begin working on them, and a frozen hair dryer works the best. It's also a safer alternative than pouring hot water on the area. A headlamp could work too.
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