How To Fix Sweating Pipes

Sometimes there's so much water dripping from a pipe that you're sure there must be a leak somewhere. On closer examination, however, you may discover there is no leak but rather sweating, or condensation, on the pipe.

Sweating occurs when the water inside the pipe is much colder than surrounding humid air. During the summer, the surrounding air is naturally hot; in winter, the air is heated by the furnace. In either case, when warm, humid air reaches cold pipes, drops of moisture form and drip as if there was a tiny hole in the pipe.

One effective way to control the moisture problem of a sweating pipe is to insulate the pipes. There are several types of self-adhesive thick "drip" tape designed to easily adhere to problem pipes.

Before applying the tape, wipe the pipes as dry as you can. Wind the tape so that it completely covers the pipe and the fittings. You should see no further signs of sweating.

On the flip side, pipes can also freeze. Learn about this problem on the next page.