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Learn Why Your Pipes Are Leaking and What to Do About It
Are pipes leaking in your house? Leaky pipes can be a major headache as it causes a lot of problems, from increased utility bills to water damage. Water is an important resource around the house, as long as it’s contained and safe in the tub, sink, or pipe. But it can quickly become an enemy when structures are damaged and, in this case, when pipes burst.
If you notice your walls or ceilings have water stains or hear the sound of running water even when your faucets are all turned off, there’s a good chance you have a leaky pipe. This blog introduces some of what causes pipes to leak under the sink and other parts of the house. Whether it’s a minor drip or a major flood, this guide will help you restore your plumbing to working order.
Pipes Leaking in The House: Common Causes and What to Do About It
Does your pipe leak when the water is turned off? Are you having issues with leaking pipes under the sink? Or is it a leaking pipe in the wall that you have a problem with? Whichever it is, they can cause significant damage to your home and health if not addressed promptly. Before you do anything, it’s good to know the possible causes and what to do when pipes leak:
Age is the most common reason a water supply or any pipe around the house leaks. When pipes get older, they become susceptible to wear and tear, as well as corrosion. The latter can be caused by several factors, such as the water’s temperature and pH and the material the pipes were made from. If you have galvanized steel pipes, they are more than likely to corrode as time passes.
You can prevent pipes from leaking due to age and wear and tear by ensuring they are inspected regularly by a professional plumber. Experts can identify possible issues with pipes before they become major problems. They can also provide quality tips and advice on how to stop pipes from leaking with water in them.
High Water Pressure
If you have high water pressure, it can cause a strain on the pipes and lead them to spring a leak. There are various possible reasons why high water pressure happens, such as a faulty pressure regulator. It can also occur if the municipal water supply suddenly increases the water pressure.
You can find out for sure by using a pressure gauge to test the water pressure. They are available in most hardware stores. Keep in mind that the ideal water pressure must be between 40 and 80 psi. You can use a pressure regulator if the water pressure is too high. You can enlist the help of a professional plumber to install the pressure regulator.
The pipe joints are part of the plumbing system where two pipes connect. Over time, these joints become corroded or loose, causing pipes to leak in the house. This often happens in older homes where the plumbing system is improperly maintained. It makes it crucial to ensure your pipes are serviced and maintained regularly.
If you notice pipes leaking around the joints, ensure you have them checked and repaired by a professional plumber as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might have to deal with significant water damage.
Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your pipes are leaking, along with some suggested solutions and DIY tips to fix it.
If you are somewhere with a cold climate, one of the possible answers to your question, “why are my water pipes leaking?” is a frozen pipe. When water freezes inside the pipes, they expand, and that causes the tubes to burst or crack. This results in significant damage to your home, which is likely also expensive.
What to do when pipes leak due to cold weather? You can prevent them from freezing in the first place by insulating the tubes properly. It also helps to keep your home at a consistent temperature throughout the cold season.
One of the most typical causes of leaky pipes is tree roots. They can significantly damage the house’s piping, especially if they are already damaged or old. Tree roots are one of the common causes of underground pipe leakage due to the tubes holding water, oxygen, and nutrients that roots crave.
The roots look for minor cracks or leaks in the pipe, creeping inside its wall and growing in it until it eventually blocks off the flow of the water. This ultimately causes increased water pressure, leading to a pipe bursting somewhere. From a small crack or leak, you will have to deal with major water damage.
This happens commonly in older homes, which have pipes made of clay and other porous materials. You can prevent tree roots from causing pipe leaks by keeping your shrubs and trees away from water pipes. A periodic plumbing inspection is also essential to deal with any blockage before they lead to costly repairs.
Some chemicals in water can damage the pipes as time passes by. An example would be high levels of fluoride or chlorine. Both chemicals cause corrosion, eventually leading to leaks. Besides water, there are chemicals in the soil that can be highly corrosive to pipes. They can cause the piping to degrade more quickly.
You can prevent leaks caused by chemical damage by regularly testing your water. It also helps to have a water treatment system, if possible. If you suspect you have leaky pipes, address the issue as soon as possible.
Call a professional plumber to determine the cause of the leak and provide the ideal solution to the problem. Additionally, it helps if your plumbing system goes through regular maintenance and inspection to prevent leaks from occurring in the first place.
Leaky Pipes FAQs
How do I know that my pipes are leaking?
There are common signs you should be on the lookout for, which include damp or discolored walls, ceilings, or floors, mold growth, musty odors, and reduced water pressure. If you notice any of these signs, try to investigate, and you might find a leak or two. We also advise calling in a professional to perform the inspection.
Can I fix a leaking pipe in the wall by myself?
You can fix some minor pipe leaks with basic skills and tools. But it’s generally advised to hire a professional plumber to address the issue. Trying to fix a leaky pipe yourself can lead to further damage or personal injury if not done properly.
How can I prevent pipes from leaking?
Regular maintenance and inspection of the plumbing system is the best way to prevent pipe leaks. This involves checking the pipes for signs of leaks and fixing any minor issues as soon as you can. Also, ensure that the parts of the plumbing system that are prone to high humidity or freezing have proper insulation and ventilation.
How much is the cost of fixing a leaking pipe?
The repair cost of a leaky pipe depends on certain factors, such as the severity of the leak, its location, and the type of plumbing system your home has. Minor pipe leaks generally cost several hundred dollars. But if it’s a more severe leak, it might cost you a few thousand dollars. You should get a quote from a professional plumber before any repair.
Hire a Local Plumbing Pro
The methods above are effective DIY tips to investigate, diagnose, and fix your leaky pipes. But if you need professional help, then don’t hesitate to contact a local plumbing pro using the phone number or form on this page.
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