Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pipe repair clamps

Ah, Mr. Google.  How did I live before you were invented?

So for breaks like the one I have in my galvanized pipe out to the carriage house, Lowe's carries a gadget known as a pipe repair clamp.  For $2.74 and some cutting, I should be able to fix my leak.  This one.  Which leaves plenty, but hey, you have to take things one day at a time.


  1. I really don't see how that works. Mind explaining? My understanding of plumbing ends at 'this is the valve to turn off if something goes wrong'.

  2. Well, there's a length of galvanized pipe under the back rooms, to the back of the house, where it transitions to a buried PVC pipe. That galvanized pipe froze, and burst in (at least) two places -- when I posted this, back when life looked rosier, I was under the naive impression that there was only one break.

    The break is a little crack in the top of the pipe. It doesn't have to be the top, of course, but in this case, it really is, like, geometrically on top, so there may be some physical principle at play.

    When water pressure is applied to this pipe, that little 1/8" crack becomes a powerful jet of water striking the underside of the floor with quite audible force. All the pipe repair clamp does is to apply a piece of neoprene rubber to the break point, then clamp the hell out of it to seal it off. If it's not sealed, you tighten it more. (No kidding -- that's what the instructions say.) Eventually, the break is sealed, or you create a black hole. Either way, you win.

    In the case of plastic pipe, of course, you create diamonds instead of a black hole.

    Since I was standing on my head in a hundred years of rat droppings while tightening the clamp, I gave up prematurely, so I'm going to have to go back in tomorrow for more. It's still dripping. But -- and this is the key -- it's not spraying out at supersonic speed any more.

  3. I should clarify -- it's not dripping now, because I shut off that branch again after ascertaining that it wasn't holding pressure.

  4. Okay, now I'm not getting it. The pipe runs between the two layers of the curved section, with the screws on each side? That's the only way I can see for it to work. Do you have to turn one of the curved pieces upside-down to fit over the underside of the pipe? A picture of the patch in situ would probably help a lot.

  5. You do, in fact, flip the bottom piece over.

    The batteries died in the camera just as I was doing this; otherwise you would already have a picture in situ. I'll take a picture today.