Can I Fix a Leaky Pipe Without a Plumber?

Can you fix a leaky pipe without a plumber? Well, yes, you can. The internet provides step-by-step tutorial articles and videos to almost every task you can think of. The real question when it comes to plumbing repair in Alexandria isn’t whether you can, but whether it’s a good idea. If you try to fix a leaky pipe yourself, you’re assuming that nothing else is wrong with the plumbing system and that you’ll be able to adequately repair the pipe without introducing new damage. 

Proper home maintenance guidelines say to call a plumber for professional diagnosis as soon as you find a leaky pipe. While it might seem like you’re saving money by not paying for a professional diagnosis and repair of a leaky pipe, an early diagnosis of a larger system problem, or just one pipe that is about to buckle, can save you thousands of dollars in repairs if caught early.

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“911” Damage Control

If you have a leaky or burst pipe, here’s your 911 list of priorities to get it fixed.

  1. Turn off the water valve. If there are multiple valves under your sink, try turning them on and off (one at a time) until you see the water pressure lessen from the affected pipe. If there isn’t a water shut off valve near your pipe or fixture, you may need to shut it off for the whole house. These are usually found near the water heater or just outside of the home.
  2. Clean up and contain. Sop up the water and place a bowl beneath to catch any more drips
  3. Call a plumber to come same-day or next day. Depending on the location of the leak and of your water shutoff valve, you may require emergency service, especially if you’ve had to shut off water to the entire household.
  4. Try to plug the leak. Dry the pipe off and, starting in the center of the leak try wrapping the pipe with fiberglass tape or masking tape until the leak is stopped (about an inch on each side of the leak). You could also try applying plumbers putty or epoxy, however, these might make the actual repair more difficult for the plumber.
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    Risks to not calling the plumber

    If you’ve decided to not call a plumber right away, we recommend the above “911” steps to contain or prevent water damage from the leaky pipe.


    Undetected water damage, especially during warm weather, is a perfect breeding ground for mold and wood rot. Depending on the location of your leaky pipe, a long term leak could begin a slow rot of kitchen cabinets or laminate flooring.

    Home damage

    The longer a leak goes undetected, the more damage it will cause. Leaky pipes can be the invisible culprit behind a huge list of home issues, even causing causing significant damage to the concrete foundation of your home.

    Water bill

    In addition to damage to your home, a leaky pipe could end up spiking your water bill significantly. Just a few drops a minute is equivalent to about 9 gallons a month; but the greater concern is where that water is getting to and what kind of damage it’s causing.

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    Amateur versus professional diagnosis and repair

    With the proper training and practice, anyone could properly replace a section of pipe or solder a crack. The real decision homeowners have to make is whether they want an amateur or a professional repair job.

    It’s like going to a doctor or a mechanic — you want someone with professional training and everyday experience to treat you or your vehicle. With plumbing, you want to trust that whoever makes the repair won’t accidentally damage your home with a bad repair job. You want it done right, the first time.

    Plumbing repair in Alexandria, VA

    Even though calling a plumber to fix a leaky pipe might sound extreme for a seemingly small problem, you won’t be sorry. John C. Flood professional plumbing repair in Alexandria will make a difference.

    The expert and courteous plumbing professionals at John C. Flood have the right experience and training to repair your leaky pipes with minimal inconvenience for you. While a home repair might be cheaper, choose the peace of mind and reliability of a professional repair, and call John C. Flood at 703-594-7352 to schedule a service appointment today.

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