Flipping Houses: Those Leaky Pipes

If you’re into rehabbing properties, you’ll eventually come across a real estate investment whose plumbing needs a little TLC. While major work should be left to the professionals, fixing a few leaky pipes yourself is easier than it looks, and it’s a great way to pull your property value out of the basement. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start With a Sealant. The quickest way to repair leaky pipes in your home is to use a chemical sealant or patch kit. These are inexpensive, easy to apply and can be found in every home improvement section across the country. The only catch is that they aren’t as sturdy or permanent as a splice. If the leak continues to drip, people who are rehabbing properties will want to consider replacing the section of pipe.


  • Replacing Pipes. Before replacing a section of pipe, shut off all of the water running through your pipes. When they’re safe to operate on, use a pipe cutter to evenly slice off the damaged length. After you’ve done that, it’s just a matter of fitting in the new section of pipe and soldering it with sweat solder.


  • Leaks That Don’t Stop. If you have a leak that persists even after you’ve replaced a section, check your spliced-on section first. If there’s no water coming out, then it’s likely the entire pipe is aged and needs to be replaced. If this is the case, then calling a plumber might be your best option. While small repairs are simple, you risk damaging the entire house if you botch a major installation.

The key to replacing leaky pipes is to take your time. Search thoroughly for the source of the leaks, and when you find them, don’t rush to replace a section of pipe. Since it’s going to be pressurized, you need to make sure that your cuts are even and your solder is sturdy. If you follow this advice, you can save hundreds the next time you’re rehabbing properties.