HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Frugal and Energy Efficient Living (Group) » When you have a slow leak...

Wed Jan 14, 2015, 12:14 AM

When you have a slow leak under the sink

And there's no plumber in sight and you're out of plumbers putty, AND even worse you have to keep a heater going so a frozen pipe won't burst:

Slide a metal pie pan filled with kitty litter under the drip. This will buy you extra time. If you're using heat you can't line the pan with newspapers - and I don't think they're as absorbent anyway.

While I doubt the idea's unique, it only occurred to me just this evening. Old and slow, y'know.

5 replies, 2895 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply When you have a slow leak under the sink (Original post)
IrishAyes Jan 2015 OP
Curmudgeoness Jan 2015 #1
IrishAyes Jan 2015 #2
Curmudgeoness Jan 2015 #3
IrishAyes Jan 2015 #4
VideoGameVet May 2015 #5

Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Wed Jan 14, 2015, 11:43 AM

1. Is the reason you suggest the cat litter in it

is so that there is not much splash back? Instead of using cat litter, which you would have to buy and then would be thrown away, why not use something like a sponge which can be reused when the leak is fixed?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 11:23 PM

2. Yes, that's why I used kitty litter. But since it's only clean water,

I can let the non-clumping kitty litter dry out and pour it back in the container. There's no sponge in the world made large enough to handle that link.


You don't have to read the following of course, but this is what I posted on FB today:


I did get back to the hardware store today, where the owners are angels on earth, and bought another roll of Rescue Tape. That took care of the known leaks in the pipes under the kitchen sink - after what seemed like hours of contorted misery. At one point I thought I'd taken care of everything but when I went back to check an hour later, the newspapers were soaked again! ................................................... I think every time I fixed a leak, another sprang up to take its place. Did you know leaks breed like rabbits?! True............. SO GLAD that when I hiked to the hardware store this afternoon, I also picked up 2 big tubs of plumbers putty. Although I used them both when I ran out of Rescue Tape, afterward I could run cold water in the sink w/o a single stray drop. Let's pray it holds; but I've done last-ditch repairs with that stuff before that held for years...................................................... And the dear hardware store owner gave me loads of sympathy and a new handyman referral too.

Together with the minimum hour I worked under that sink this morning, and the hike to the store, I think the grand total was somewhere around 6 hours at least. If I never have to do that again, it'll be too soon. Should've been maybe a half hour job if I'd known what I was doing.

PS: After 3 hours, THIS time I think it's fixed. Halleleujah !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IrishAyes (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 16, 2015, 12:05 PM

3. I hope that new referral works out for you.

It sounds like quite a mess. With all the money you have been spending on supplies for temporary fixes, it would be so much better to apply that money to a proper fix.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 17, 2015, 10:27 PM

4. Oh, I'm more than willing to go straight to the pros - when they're available.

Such is not always the case, even at a king's ransom. Which I simply don't have.

At least plumbers putty never hardens and you can always find a good use for it. As for the rescue tape, it did help a lot.

Update: I finally reached a guy who's head of the maintenance dept at the hospital- he does all sorts of things on the side. Since he works just about 24 hours a day, he can be impossible to get a response from. But last night I actually found him at home when I called, and he answered even though he knew it was me - which made me feel good.

He came out and checked everything over this morning before going back to the hospital on an emergency call. Looked under the house and still no water on the ground. When I told him how suddenly the cold water had stopped, even on a warmish morning, he said he was almost sure that a piece of ice had broken off and created a clog. If I hadn't been able to reach the water department to come shut off the main so quickly, he said the ice clog would've melted soon and I'd probably have had full service yesterday afternoon.

BUT he is going to come back Monday after work and replace the last of the pvc with pex pipe, increase the insulation around the pipes, and put a whole-house shut off valve for me in the laundry room because that's where all the water branches out to other destinations. Then if there is another emergency, real or just apparent when the water dept can't be reached, I could be sure to stop a flood inside the house even if water was gushing underneath. He's going to bring insulation he had left over from another job so I don't have to buy that.

Sadly it's against the law to put my own shutoff valve this side of the city shutoff valve - have to do it AFTER the city main goes under the house. Far as I'm concerned I should be able to shut OFF the city valve to my own property if I wanted to. I'm sure they're more concerned about someone who hasn't paid turning it ON. What do you want to bet I could find out how to do that, though? THEY wouldn't know unless my meter read activity after they shut it off for nonpayment - which won't happen.

Back to the news: the pastor called and said the church would fund my plumbing costs! The lady who thought my dissatisfaction with sponge baths was silly, started hauling water for me until I can get my plumbing straightened out. Another lady finally called and said she'd take me to her house for a shower. I'm clean now! Actually happy, I dare say.

I've even been given referral to another young man just starting out as a handyman. But he's learned the skills at his father's knee, so age doesn't count against him. And he doesn't believe in robbing the poor. At least for now, he's willing to work for $10 an hour. If he comes over for a job and does it quicker than anticipated, I'll still give him a bonus if his price is less than his quote. I play fair as possible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Fri May 8, 2015, 01:32 AM

5. Drain Pipe? Got electrical tape?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread