January 10, 2010 - Over the past two days, Houston has been experiencing a cold snap that has plunged temperatures into the low twenties. My blood must have thinned out over the years because twenty degrees here feels far colder than the same temperature up North. I learned to take the cold seriously after a pipe burst in our kitchen wall in 1999, causing several thousand dollars in damages. So, as we watched the cold front move Southward on the TV weather map, we insulated the pipes on the outside of the house and relocated some potted plants indoors.
By Sunday afternoon I thought the worst was over. It wasn't. When I returned home at 3:00, I found water bubbling down the exterior wall of our home. I shut the water off and went inside, where I found the laundry room and my study flooded. Over the next two hours we moved everything outside to dry, and mopped up most of the water. A couple of small circulating fans did most of the drying.
With the temperature falling and the daylight vanishing, I set out to find the leak and repair it. I removed the fascia board under the roof to take a closer look. The good news was that the leak was easy to see. The bad news was that it was ten 'til 6:00 and Home Depot would be closed by the time I got there. Luckily, we have a client that makes all kinds of plumbing products, and they have a product specifically designed to patch these kinds of leaks. Even better, our client (Rectorseal) had provided me with a sample of the product for use in a photo shoot. Maybe I could kill two birds with one stone?
From the instructions in the package, I was reminded that "The RectorSeal® Pipe Repair Kit is a fast, easy to use, durable pipe repair system. It is very effective and takes no special skills to use." So far, so good. "The kit consists of a 2" x 4' knitted fiberglass cloth coated with a water activated Polyurethane resin that adheres to all metal, plastic, fiberglass, and concrete piping. This repair system can withstand pressures up to 450 PSI when used with RectorSeal® EP 200 Epoxy Putty. It is typically used in plumbing, pool, spa, irrigation and HVAC applications."
I followed the instructions and photographed each step of the process. From start to finish, the repair took less than an hour (including the time required to take photographs), which was a very good thing because the temperature really began to drop once the sun went down.
The next morning we turned on the water, and the patch worked perfectly. As soon as Home Depot gets a new inventory of pipe insulation, I'll put everything back together and I promise you won't hear me complaining about the hot weather this summer.
Posted by Vic Cherubini on January 11, 2010
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