While there are many simple plumbing issues you can tackle yourself, such as removing most clogs and tightening leaky faucets, fixing a leaky or cracked pipe is an involved task that's often best left to a plumber. Still, it's important for homeowners to know a bit about pipe repairs, so they can determine when to call a plumber and what to expect when he or she arrives. Here's a look at a few common questions about pipe repairs, as well as their answers.
If a pipe is making noise when you turn on the water, does that mean it needs to be repaired?
In most cases, yes it does. If you hear clicking or hissing noises coming from a pipe, this is not because your pipes are contracting and expanding from the heat of the water, as many people mistakenly believe. It usually means you have a leak somewhere. Even if you cannot see the leak, call a plumber. The leak may be in an area where a pipe is behind a wall, and the longer you wait, the more water damage you'll have to repair.
Does the entire pipe need to be replaced if it's leaking?
This depends on the situation. If the leak is in a rather small pipe, your plumber might just remove the whole pipe and replace it. If the leak is in a very long pipe, however, your plumber might cut out that section of pipe and create threading on the cut ends so he or she can attach a new segment of pipe in the middle of it.
Can plumbers ever patch a leak instead of replacing a pipe?
If a pipe is relatively new and in otherwise good condition, your plumber might repair a small crack or leak between segments by applying a sealing compound. This is an especially good solution when the leak exists because two sections of pipe don't fit together as they should. However, it is not generally used for large leaks or those that your plumber feels have the potential to become larger due to temperature fluctuations or your individual plumbing setup.
If you have a leaky pipe, you can place a temporary patch from the hardware store over it as a quick fix until your plumber arrives. However, these patches don't hold forever, and they're no substitute for repairs made by a qualified plumber. Fixing a leaky pipe is not always cheap, but it's certainly cheaper than replacing your possessions after your home floods because you ignored a leak. Contact professionals such as Bode's Electric & Plumbing Inc for more information.