This post describes how to keep using your home and prevent further damage even if you’ve just discovered a water leak. This information will help you to save significant amount of money by surviving until normal business hours when plumbing repair services are much less expensive. If you have significant leak in a water supply pipe AND the water is now shut off you might still be able to have limited use of your home’s plumbing. It will help you use your home until a permanent repair can be made.

  • If the pipe is exposed, hopefully in the basement, tie a rag around the leak. This will contain a spraying leak and let the water drip straight down where you could direct it to a drain or catch with a bucket.
  • Other things you can try after the water is shut off to act as a temporary repair:
  • Tape product that you can wrap around the pipe
  • There is a two part epoxy product for temporary pipe leak repair.
  • If you are unable to contain or minimize the leak, close all faucets and turn on the meter valve in order to take a shower, flush and refill the toilet tank. etc. When you’re done using water, close the meter valve and open faucets to drain the house.
  • If you cannot contain the leak, leave the upstairs faucet on or open and turn the meter valve on a little, and gather water in a bucket from a basement laundry tub faucet for flushing a toilet (dumping about 1 ½ gallons quickly into your toilet from a bucket is exactly what happens when you press the handle to flush the toilet. After filling any containers, turn the valve at the meter off again and open the basement faucet.
  • Before leaving the house or going to bed, turn the meter valve off.
  • If for any reason the above suggestions do not work for you, Go to a motel. I kid you not. Before you do, the first step is to call one of plumbing service companies that have a full page ad in the phone book. While you are waiting for them call around for a room at nearby/local motel/hotel. The plumber will give you an estimate. If you do not like the cost of plumbing vs. the hotel cost and do not want them to do any work, they will charge you for the visit/evaluation/estimate. This is proper, standard procedure. Then go to a motel or hotel and call it a well deserved vacation that just saved you huge $$ by waiting until I can get there to fix the problem. Don’t tell me their cost estimate until after I’ve completed your job.
  • If any of these suggestions do not fit your situation, keep water off to the entire house at all times and call a service professional immediately.