I have a small, slow and steady trickle of water running down the outside of a vertical 15 mm copper pipe.

How can I capture the leak and divert the water into a receptacle?

I'm not asking for a permanent fix for the leak itself. I have that in hand - the parts should arrive in couple of days. In the meantime I have a slow leak steadily oozing onto a nice wooden floor.

The pipe is hard to access (I have a length about 10cm I can get to) and I can't turn the water off. I have some rags wrapped around the pipe, but these need wringing out every minute or two.

I need some sort of clamp that can clip around the outside of the pipe and re-direct to a bucket. Is there such a thing I can buy to do this? or is there a quick diy solution?

UPDATE - following some experimentation.... the blue-tack suggestion is the easiest to fashion into a spout, but the blue tack just won't really stick to the wet copper - most water just leaks past.

Also tried gaffer tape - this only works with a thin strip of tape just because of the limited access, but similar problem with it not sticking well.

Best solution so far has been to use electrical tape to bind a piece of cling-film to the pipe and then fold the cling-film to re-direct the water.

  • For the blu tack, get a good absorbent cloth, dry the pipe then tie the cloth round it above where you want to make the spout. You may need 2 cloths and/or paper towel. Then stick the blu tack to the dry pipe (and to itself, as you'll wrap it right round)
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 10:50

4 Answers 4


Form a spout out of BluTack mounting putty (may be known by different names) and direct into a bucket.

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  • 3
    +1 for creative use of BluTack
    – Scottie H
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 17:16

I used a cotton fabric wrapped around a pipe draped into a bucket - works well for slow flows.

  • 1
    Even toilet paper would work here.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 15:09
  • 4
    I used paper towels in a nearly identical situation recently, which will not disintegrate as would toilet paper. I was actually hoping that they could evaporate the water, with the aid of a fan, but the leak was too fast.
    – Corrodias
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 17:14
  • @Nelson What fanning do I mention?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 8:48

Wicking with string or yarn (has to be a type that wets well to wick, not something hydrophobic) tied around the pipe and suspended to drip into a container has usually worked for me, as yet another option.


I had the same thing once, in the cellar under the bathroom.

While we waited for the plumber to come I got creative with some aluminium foil and duct tape. I secured the foil where the water was running, and formed it into a point, so it dripped into a bucket.

Sorry, this was a long time ago, no pictures.

  • 1
    Hell, I've done this with just duct tape. It's a little bit trickier to get it into shape, but it works fine. If you pull the outer edge of the tape tighter than the inside, you can cause it to settle into a "chute" shape. Then you just need to press the edge that the water will encounter very flush with the surface so it doesn't have an opportunity to get to the adhesive. We had a setup like this for half a summer because our stove chimney leaked a little every time it rained. We just directed the water to a little bucket. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 23:44

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