How to prevent sweating in pipes?
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Sweating in pipes can be attributed to two main causes. First of all, a pipe will sweat when a leak develops somewhere. And secondly, it might also sweat when a cold water pipe comes in direct contact with humid air. However, leakages are much more troublesome, and need to be looked at without much delay.
Lock the leak - solutions to prevent pipes from sweating
There are a few fixes you can try at home to stop the sweating in your pipes. However, you must understand that these are temporary measures and will just help you to buy some time before you actually get the defective pipe(s) replaced. If it is a major problem call fro professional help as they are the ones who are trained to deal with such problems.
- Wrap(id) fixing: If the leak is really tiny, almost to the size of a pinhole, then you can try wrapping it with multiple layers of electrician's tape. Make sure that you have wrapped about 6" to both sides of the hole. However, before you apply the tape, remember to disconnect the water supply by switching off the valve and wiping the region around the whole with a dry cloth. In the event of a leak near fittings, you can try using the epoxy plumber's putty. It settles down pretty fast and forms a watertight patch.
- Clamp it down: For leaks of a little bigger size, a perfect stop-gap solution could be an automotive hose clamp and a piece of rubber or sheet cork. These should be available in your local hardware and auto supply stores. To install it just wrap the area where the leak is with the rubber or sheet cork and then tighten it with the clamp. The rubber will force the water to stay inside the pipe and the opening would be sealed for some time.
- Don't lose your sweat on this: Sometimes it becomes hard to trace where the exact leak is as the water keeps dripping from the pipe. If you are not able to locate any leaks even after a close search chances are there aren't any leaks. Sometimes pipes sweat when it comes in contact with moist air. Cold water running through the pipe condenses the air around the pipe and the water vapor turns to water and drips down the body of the pipe giving an impression of a leak. It is however not too difficult to fix the problem. All you need is some foam pipe insulation. If you go for a slightly expensive version, it would come with peel-and-stick seam along its length. These are easier to install and hassle free. You can also use the economic ones but you will have to tape them to your pipe. Before you go to the hardware store, make sure you know what length of foam you require and how wide it should be. Once you have purchased them just peel and stick. And your problem is solved!!
These were some of the basic ways to deal with pipe leaks. For more serious problems contact a plumber.