Locate a Cracked Hot Water Pipe and Patch It

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If the hot water in your mobile home doesn't last as long as it normally should and you have been subjected to taking cold showers and washing dishes in cold water, one of the pipes attached to the water heater may have a crack in it. The following steps will assist with locating the damaged pipe and patching it. This repair is a temporary fix, but will allow you to use hot water as desired until the pipe is replaced.

Supplies

  • flashlight
  • towels
  • vinyl drop cloth
  • slightly-abrasive sponge
  • water
  • detergent
  • waterproof plumbing putty
  • tube of waterproof plumbing sealant
  • caulk gun
  • putty knife
  • thermal waterproof tape
  • utility knife

Locate The Damaged Pipe And Clean Its Surface

While the hot water heater is on, inspect the plumbing that is attached to the water tank. Use a flashlight to assist with observing the plumbing and move your hand along each pipe section to determine if any of them are wet. If not, go outdoors and peer under your mobile home. Locate the plumbing that is directly underneath the water heater. Lay a vinyl drop cloth across the ground before crawling underneath your home.

While lying on your back, aim the flashlight towards the plumbing to determine if any of the pipes are leaking. Once you locate a pipe that is dripping, go indoors and turn off the hot water supply. After heading back outside, use a towel to dry the leaky pipe's exterior. If any hardened residue is on the pipe's surface, use a damp, soapy sponge to eliminate it. Dry the pipe's surface when finished. 

Use Waterproof Putty, Sealant, and Tape To Patch a Crack

Cover the crack in the pipe with waterproof putty. If the putty is hard and difficult to bend, press it between your hands for a few minutes to soften it. Apply the putty directly over the crack and press firmly against the putty to flatten it. If the crack is tiny, you can seal it with plumbing sealant instead. Pull a caulk gun's plunger to open the tool's chamber. Insert a tube of sealant in the chamber and press against the plunger. Use a pair of scissors to snip the tip of the sealant. Administer a line of sealant directly over the crack. Smooth the sealant with a putty knife.

After the putty or sealant has dried, wrap thermal waterproof tape around the plumbing repairs. Add a few layers of tape across the pipe's exterior. Use a pair of sharp scissors to trim the end of the tape. Turn the hot water back on and go outdoors to inspect the patched pipe and ensure that the repair was effective. 


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