How to Repair a Broken Water Pipe
If possible, leave whatever caused the damage in the pipe while you turn off the water and drain down the pipe.
Where the pipe is bedded in a solid wall, you won’t have space to use a repair kit — use epoxy putty or car bodyinstead. This makes a substantial repair that will last for some time if left undisturbed. However, it’s as well to make a proper repair before making good the damage to the surrounding plaster or you could have problems later.
1. Use a builder’s bolster or an old wood chisel to hack away the plaster around the area of the burst. Take care not to cause any more damage to the pipe.
2. Rub the damaged part of the pipe with sandpaper until it becomes shiny. Then clean the whole area with white spirit or methylated spirit (alcohol).
3. For epoxy putty, knead together pieces from both packs. (For car, mix up the resin with a little of the hardener on a piece of wood.)
4. Press the repair mixture over and around the hole (but not too hard, or you’ll block the pipe). Then play a hair dryer over it to speed hardening.
5. When the repair feels hard, a you can restore a low-pressure supply — open the stopcock just a little. After a day, restore the supply to normal.
Your own repair kit
"If you’re caught unprepared, wrap anything you can around the burst — belt, floorcloth, or some such — and make up your own repair kit as follows:
Take a piece of ordinary garden hose about 100mm (4") long and slice it down the middle. Lay the two halves opposite each other over the burst — then secure with pieces of thin coat-hanger wire every 12mm (1/2") or so. Twist the wire ends tightly using pliers."
Dealing with lead pipes When a lead pipe breaks or bursts it usually splits, so try the following repair:
♦ Pinch the split closed with a self-grip wrench -set the jaws wide open, so they bear on the split area, not the whole pipe.
♦ Fill what remains of the split with epoxy putty or car body filler as described above.
♦ Wrap stiff wire — 30A fuse wire o thin coat-hanger wire — tightly around the pipe to support the repair and hold the filler in place.
If a lead pipe disintegrates completely, saw through it with a, hammer the end closed, and fill with putty.