If you have discovered a small rusted hole in one of your cast iron pipes, you may wonder what you can do to temporarily cover the pipe and stop the leak.
Step 1: Clean The Area Around The Leak
After turning off the main water line, the first step involves cleaning the dirt and rust on the surface surrounding the hole. This will give the glue in the third step a clean surface on which to adhere.
To clean the area, first wipe off any excess rust on the pipe with a rag dampened with white distilled vinegar. If the pipe is rusty, do not use a lot of pressure to keep from making the hole bigger. After allowing the surface to dry, wipe the pipe with alcohol to clean any residual dirt.
Once the pipe is clean, go on to the second step.
Step 2: Cut A Sleeve Out Of A Beer Can
The next step is to cut your temporary sleeve out of an aluminum beer can. While a soda can may work, beer cans tend to be thicker and can better withstand water pressure coming from the leak.
Using a utility knife, cut off the top and bottom of the can. Then, make a single vertical slit down the side. If the hole is larger than half the can, make two sleeves that you can use together to form the sleeve. Once you have your sleeves cut out, go on to the third step.
Step 3: Attach The Can Using Epoxy Glue And Hose Clamps
Along with your homemade sleeve, you will also need epoxy glue and two hose clamps to attach the can to the pipe. Start by applying a thin layer of glue around the hole, then smear it around the edges of the sleeve, going in about an inch. If you are using two cans, overlap them a couple of inches, and glue them together.
As soon as possible after apply the glue, affix the sleeve to the pipe. Hold the sleeve in place for a couple of minutes, then attach one hose clamp on each end of the can. Wait about an hour to give the epoxy time to fully set up, then turn on the water.
Using the above guide can help you temporarily stop your cast iron pipe from leaking. However, you may want to contact a plumbing service like Marcum Plumbing Services, Inc. to have someone come out to inspect the pipe and discuss your options for permanently fixing the problem.