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Temporary repair of a leak

If water is allowed to freeze in a pipe, it may lead to cracks or splits, which can cause a leak when the water thaws. Putty (as shown here) is only a temporary fix, and should be followed up with a longer-term solution as soon as possible.


If your home uses gas, be especially careful before attempting any plumbing work. As with water pipes, gas pipes should have shut-off valves. Always check with your local building department before carrying out work on your plumbing.

Tools and materials

Plumber’s epoxy putty


1 Shut off the water after you have established where the leak is, and allow the pipe to dry before applying the putty.


2 Mix two lengths of putty together in your hand. Make enough not only to cover the immediate area of the leak, but around it as well.


3 Press the plumber’s epoxy putty over the pipe to cover the leak, and wait for it to harden. Then turn the water back on and check for any further leaking.


Plumber’s epoxy putty

This is a hard-setting putty that usually comes in two parts an epoxy resin and a hardener. Once the two parts are mixed the putty is workable for about 20 minutes, after which it sets rock hard. It is non-toxic, so is safe to use on pipes that carry drinking water, and will adhere to most materials, although you may need a special epoxy putty for some types of plastic.