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I bought a home about 3 months back, and recently discovered a slow leak under a wall in my utility room.

I ended up removing that part of the wall to get to it, and the leak is coming from the feed pipe from my well. This is the pipe that comes in from the outside.

The section in question is basically two elbows, and it leads to a diaphragm pump that ups the pressure inside the house.

Long term, I am going to hire a plumber to repair this. Short term, I need to get it fixed to stop the leak.

The leak is coming from where the elbow fits into the other pipe (picture below, it's on the left of the elbow). If you look closely you can see the elbow is a little bit smaller where it's coming out of the pipe.

enter image description here

Whoever did this initially basically just got some hard rubber piping and hose clamps and crammed it all together. My problem now is, I can't get the elbow to go any further into that black piping (I obviously loosened the hose clamp). I even tried using a long vise on it, but it wouldn't go any deeper.

Since I have messed with it the leak has gotten noticeably worse, so I had to turn off the well to kill water to the house.

Is there some product or technique I can use to temporarily (say for a few weeks) seal this up? I really don't want to take all the pipes apart for this. It's already sort of jury-rigged so I'm afraid if I take it all apart I will need to just replace all the piping.

If the solution is something that needs to be reapplied say weekly that would be OK as well, as this is in a corner of the utility room and I plan to leave the wall open until we can get a pro to come in and fix it the right way.

Let me know if any other pics or info are needed.

you need to put another one of those clamps on the bottom part. andpossibly replace or tighten the top clam. No need to encase in fibreglass.. but if you do.. the water needs to be turned off and the area needs to be clean and dry before you apply any resin,epoxy. Just remember when it comes later to replace it it will make life more complicated in removing the resin if it is in a tight spot. –  ppumkin Jan 8 '12 at 22:03
There is a clamp on both ends already, unfortunately. In the pic the part on the left with the clamp is what's leaking. –  JNK Jan 8 '12 at 22:19
Turn the water off. Undo the clamp. Remove the hose gently. Inspect if the hose is cracked. If not cracked clean the pipe inside with some cloth, and the bends end so there is no rubbish on it. Put the pipe back on as far inside as you can. Tighten the clamp again. If still leaks the bend might need replacing or a piece of the pipe as it could be perished –  ppumkin Jan 8 '12 at 22:44
You're sure that's PVC and not polyethylene? Poly is flexible, and is typically used for all the source-side well pump stuff. It's hard to tell from your picture, but is there any more to the pipe coming out of the ground? –  gregmac Jan 9 '12 at 3:10
I'm not sure at all what material the pipe is. –  JNK Jan 9 '12 at 12:01

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You've already accepted, but to properly fix this:

I'll assume it's all polyethylene pipe (typically used for well piping). The fitting also looks like nylon, which in my experience is easy to damage and often leaks. I much prefer PVC (which is typically gray) or brass.

Take everything apart, remove the elbow, and throw it away. Heat the end of the poly pipe with a torch, both around the outside, and a tiny bit on the inside. You want it to be warm, but not melted/squishy/burning. Put on two clamps, then put the fitting in, and then tighten down the clamps (about 1/4" apart, give or take). Repeat with the other end.

If you've never done this, you may want to practice on some scrap pipe first, especially if you don't have a lot of extra to work with. If you do melt the pipe, you need to cut the end back and remove the melted piece.

+1 because this also seems likely. I'm actually going to hire a plumber to do the permanent fix, I don't have much pipe to play with coming out of the wall and don't want to risk it since it supplies the whole house. –  JNK Jan 9 '12 at 12:02
I've accepted this since it's the "right" way to fix it, and this is actually how the plumbers corrected the issue. –  JNK Jul 1 '13 at 18:36

You can try a fiberglass "pipe repair kit" available at most hardware stores. You soak the fiberglass in water which activates the resin, and then wrap it around the leaking pipes. It will completely encase the pipes and harden, leaving you with a pretty strong temporary fix. I've used this on PVC and copper with good results; I think it would work on rubber tubing but you might want to check the label.

Note that it probably won't be practical to remove the fiberglass later and fix what's underneath, so only try this if you're planning to completely replace that section of pipes/tubing.

Example: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100206252/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

This will do it, I think. It actually looks like the black piece is PVC that was poorly cut. I was hoping something like this existed. Thanks for the link! –  JNK Jan 8 '12 at 22:19
FYI I bought this and applied it last night, and it lessened but did not completely stop the leak. I think the problem may be that I had to apply the putty around the whole circumference of the pipe (since it was at a joint). –  JNK Jan 9 '12 at 18:35

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