Best Tapes to Stop Water Leaks & Leaky Pipes

Wondering what are the best Tapes to Stop a Water Leak? Can a Simple Duct tape do the trick and fix a leaky pipe to prevent serious water damage?

In this guide you will learn:

  • What kind of Tapes are best to Stop Water Leaks and Fix leaky Pipes
  • Comparison Between Silicon Tape, Plumbers Tape, Flex Tape, Duct tape & Electrical tape.
  • How to use the various tapes to Effectively stop water leaks.

1.Silicon Tape

Effectiveness 8/10

This type of tape is also referred to as “self-fusing tape” as it’s self-adhesive. It doesn’t stick to a pipe, but only to itself.

It can be used to wrap around a leaking pipe to give it a temporary protective seal as eventually, you will need to replace the pipe.

When a pipe has a fracture, like in the middle of the pipe, that’s when silicone tape can help prevent leaking water.

You can use it to wrap around the leak and make sure the tape sticks to the other part of the tape, not the pipe itself.

Once you locate the leak turn the water off and dry the pipe. Then, wrap the silicone tape over the leak repeatedly until it’s as tight as possible. Even wrapping the tape around the area surrounding the leak can help stop the water as well.

Make sure the tape is wrapped tight and firmly around the pipe.

Should the water leak come from threads of the pipe the silicon tape won’t work since it can’t stick to the thread of the pipe.

Overall, silicone tape is not a permanent fix for a leaking pipe. However, it is probably the best choice to stop a leak and prevent water damage.

On a scale of 1-10 silicone tape is about a solid 8 as long as you remember it’s only a temporary solution.

2.Plumbing Teflon Pipe Leak tape

Effectiveness 10/10 if used on threads.

Teflon plumbers tape works best on the joints/threads of a leaking pipe. It’s designed to help create a watertight seal between plumbing joints as well as lubricating the connections between the joints.

This will allow threading and disassembling of the pipes in the future easier.

Teflon tape works specifically within the threads of the pipe to prevent any water leaks. It will not work in case of a burst pipe.

When applying teflon tape, you want to turn off the water and then remove the old seal. From there wrap the tape around the thread in the opposite direction from which you will screw the pipe back on.

You will want to wrap the tape around 4-6 times until it’s snug. After you finish wrapping then screw the pipe back on and check to see the leak has stopped.

With this tape, if used correctly, the joint can last for years. As long as the joint from the pipe isn’t still leaking, then the tape could give the pipe a permanent fix.

If you have a burst pipe though and the leak is too excessive, Teflon pipe tape won’t be effective at all. Again, this type of tape works best on the joints and threads of the pipe.

Teflon pipe tape is solid tape to use under the right circumstances and could be rated 10 out of 10 when it comes to fixing a leaky pipe.

3.Flex Seal Tape

Effectiveness 8/10

Flex Seal tape is a thick, durable rubber tape that is very effective to stop water leaks or burst pipes. You may have seen Flex Seal advertised on TV.  It has a very strong adhesive that ”welds” itself to any surface.

It’s fairly simple to use as well. Basically, cut the length of tape you need, peel off the backing, and then place the tape over the area that needs fixed. You can use Flex Seal on a damp surface; however, it will work better on a dry surface.

So, like with other tapes dealing with a leaking pipe, you will want to turn the water off and dry it the best you can before applying the tape to the problem area for the best results. You may have to re-apply pieces of tape over time.

Also, similar to silicon tape, Flex Seal is not meant to be a permanent solution for a leaking pipe. It will definitely stop the pipe from leaking, but eventually, you will probably have to replace the pipe at some point.

On a scale from 10 to 10 Flex Seal would come in around 8. A downside to this type of tape is that if you ever want to remove the tape it could be a struggle.

It sticks so well to the surface you apply it to that it’s very hard to remove and again, it’s only a temporary solution.

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4.Gorilla Tape

Effectiveness 6/10

This is a very strong adhesive tape to patch gaps, holes, tears, etc. When using it to fix leaks though water needs to be removed first so you’ll want to turn off the water before applying the tape to the leak.

Gorilla Tape has a thick adhesive layer and can form almost a permanent bond when sealing a water leak. Using this tape is fairly simple as well.

You just need to cut the tape to the length you need, place over the leak properly and then press the tape over the leak.With a heavy-duty backing and being waterproof, Gorilla Tape is a solid way to prevent a leaky pipe if you already have it on hand.

Using this tape though is only another temporary solution. If the leak is small the tape may hold up for a while. If it’s a heavy leak though then the tape is only slowing the inevitable of you replacing the pipe.

Some cons about Gorilla tape are that it can leave behind residue when used for so long and it doesn’t work very well when used on plastic or PVC pipes to stop leaks.

This is still a very durable and tough tape that can be effective under the right conditions to stop a water leak.

5.Regular Duct Tape

Effectiveness 4/10

Duct tape is multipurpose tape and can be used on a variety of things to patch holes and tears. It also attaches to surfaces like wood and brick really well. 

Even as durable as it is, when it comes to stopping a leaking pipe duct tape can only do so much and won’t be very effective.

For one, most brands of duct tape isn’t waterproof and it’s best to be used only as a temporary fix for a leaking pipe. It can be used to patch small leaks in pipes, but like other tapes mentioned above, it’s just a short-term solution and might not seal the leak very well.

Once water starts coming from the pipe again the duct tape will be pretty much useless in stopping the leak from pipe.

Duct tape works best if the leak is coming from a very small hole or crack in the pipe. If there is a lot of water leaking out then duct tape will not work and will be almost useless.

How to Use Duct Tape to Fix a Pipe Leak

When using duct tape, you will want to turn the water off first before putting the tape on the leak. After wrapping the pipe with the tape, try to keep the water off until the pipe is fixed properly because the water pressure will likely render the duct tape ineffective over time.

When you have leak in a pipe and only have duct tape to fix the leak it can temporarily fix the problem if the water pressure is low.

You will locate where the leak is coming from and then wrap the tape around the hole/crack several times until it’s snug. Cut the remaining tape off and make sure that the leak is sealed off tight.

You also want to make sure the area around the leak is as dry as possible or the duct tape won’t stick. Basically, duct tape is a quick fix that’s not very effective until a more permanent solution is found.

Duct tape isn’t the best tape to use when fixing leaks given it’s not waterproof. Should the tape become submerged in water, the adhesive will eventually peel off.

Overall, duct tape could be rated about a 4 out of 10. Yes, it can hold off small leaks and cracks, but doesn’t do much beyond that. If you have to deal with a leaky pipe and duct tape is all you have then go ahead and use it as it will help stop the leak to some extent.

6.Electrical Tape

Effectiveness 2/10

Electrical tape is somewhat similar to duct tape as it can be used to patch a very small water leak for a very short amount of time, but it isn’t a permanent fix at all…

You’ll want to wrap the electrical tape around the pipe leak several times to make sure it’s good and tight. Even so, electrical tape can become loose from the pipe and begin to pull away very fast.

Especially if the pipe is exposed to cold water electrical tape will be even less effective.

The only time you should consider using electrical tape or even duct tape would be to fix a very small leak that’s not under a lot of pressure.

If you find yourself using these types of tapes for a leak you will want to call a professional to fix the pipe properly ASAP.

An Electrical tape would be able to hold a leak under pressure for perhaps maximum 10minutes, that is if you are able to wrap it around the pipe.

If using Electrical tape to stop a water leak where you can’t wrap it around, it won’t hold for more than a few seconds!

On a scale of 1 to 10 electrical tape would fall in around 2. It’s just not good at all to stop a water leak.

When deciding on what type of tape to use to deal with a leaky pipe you need to factor in where the leak is coming from and the severity of the leak. You may be able to get away with patching up a tiny leak with tape, depending on what kind you use.

You don’t want to tape a leak up and assume it’s fixed for good as it can cause a lot of water damage when the tape fails and you don’t notice it. Always check on the pipe and see if it’s stable or getting worse or better yet, call in that professional and have them take a look.

When to Call a Professional

If the leak is very small and it’s not under a lot of pressure it’s perfectly possible for you to stop it by using either the special Silicon tape or Flex seal tape and it may even last for a while. Using a Duct tape or Electrical tape won’t be that useful even for a small leak.

If you have a burst pipe situation none of these tapes will be a long-term solution,in that case you should immediately shut your main water line and seek immediate help.

We have Water Damage Restoration Technicians that can help Stop the Water Leaks,Repair the Pipes/leaks as well as Repair any Water Damage done.

For Disasters of all Sizes,available in 95% of the USA

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