Got a minor plumbing problem that seems like it has an easy DIY fix? While repairing a small pipe leak or busting through a tough drain blockage on your own might seem simple, most plumbing issues really require professional attention.

However, with all of the commercially available plumbing fixes on the market, it can be tempting to try to DIY your plumbing repairs. But taking that route is almost always a bad idea as most of these “solutions” are nothing more temporary fixes that can cause much bigger problems down the road.

Which DIY plumbing repair hacks are temporary solutions at best? Check our list below.

Chemical Drain Cleaning Solutions

Drain cleaning solutions might sound super attractive when you’re in a pinch and your shower won’t drain no matter what you do. However, if you want your pipes to last, avoid these cleaning solutions at all costs!

Chemical drain cleaners are incredibly corrosive because they’re formulated to literally burn through anything that might be clogging up your drains. But it's that corrosive nature that makes them so dangerous for your plumbing system. With repeated use, these cleaners can corrode the interior of your pipes and even eat away at joints and seals. Eventually, the corrosion can result in plumbing leaks, which can do quite a bit of damage if you don’t know they’re there.

The alternative? Professional drain cleaning or an enzymatic drain cleaning solution. The former is the best long-term solution for handling tough drain blockages while the latter is fine to use as a temporary solution in a pinch.

Plumbing Repair Tape

Silicone tape and pipe thread tape are readily available and marketed as solutions for various types of pipe leaks. Here’s what you should know about each type:

●        Silicone tape. Also referred to as self-fusing tape, this type of plumbing tape only sticks to itself rather than directly to the pipe. While it can be used as a temporary solution for sealing up a fracture leak, it’s not a long-term fix by any means. Leaving this tape in place will inevitably cause problems, the worst of which is a bigger leak and of course, water damage. If you ever feel the need to slap some of this tape on a leak temporarily, that’s fine. But call a plumber at your earliest convenience to schedule a comprehensive plumbing repair.

●        Pipe thread tape. Also called plumber’s tape, this type of tape is designed to help create a watertight seal between plumbing joints. If any of your pipes are leaking at the joint, it’s fine to use this tape as a temporary fix. However, tape isn’t the best way to correct the larger issue here, which is often a loosened connection or deteriorated sealant. To prevent unexpected future leaks, have a plumber diagnose and repair the problem at your earliest convenience. 

Pipe Clamps

Pipe clamps are incredibly durable, but that doesn’t mean they’re designed for long-term use. It’s okay to put a piece of rubber over a leak and tighten a pipe clamp over top of it, but you shouldn’t keep this temporary fix in place longer than a few days. Eventually, the leak will get worse if you don’t have a plumber perform a professional-quality repair. 

Epoxy Pipe Sealant

Epoxy sealant might sound like a great solution for small pipe leaks, but it’s not a long-term fix by any means. While the epoxy will harden against the damaged area and prevent water from escaping the pipe, it will inevitably break down over time. And if you leave it in place, it will eventually allow water to leak once again, which may result in extensive water damage depending on the severity of the problem.

The best long-term solution? Professional plumbing repair. Any time you find a pipe leak, you need to get a plumber involved. An inspection and diagnosis will alert you to both isolated and systemic issues you need to address to avoid water damage and keep your plumbing system functioning optimally.

Steve’s Plumbing & Heating: Your Central Wisconsin Source for Quality Plumbing Repair

Got a few plumbing issues that need professional attention? Get in touch with our team at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating for all your plumbing needs! Since 1985, we’ve proudly provided homeowners throughout Wisconsin Rapids and the surrounding cities with comprehensive plumbing services. We’d love to make you our next fully satisfied customer!

To learn more about our services or to schedule plumbing repairs, give us a call today at 715-421-1800 or request an estimate online, and we’ll be in touch.