As someone who owns a house, knowing about the possible harm caused by a water leak is crucial. If you don’t fix it, it can lead to dirty water building up, making unwanted things grow, and creating bad smells in your home. But stopping this damage can be challenging (especially if you’re unfamiliar with plumbing).
One big reason is that you can only easily see some of the pipes in your house, so you might not realize when there’s a leak. However, if you learn about and identify the ten most common reasons for a leak, you can immediately contact a plumber and prevent a potential disaster. Are you wondering what causes a water leak? We’re about to find out.
What Causes A Water Leak: Potential Causes
1. Broken Seals
Plumbing does not always consist of metal pipes. When they set up devices, a contractor applies rubber sealant around spots, such as your dishwasher door, to keep water from leaking. As your devices age, this sealing can wear down and eventually crack. A seal might be broken if you see water droplets on your devices or pools close by.
2. Clogged Lines
Sometimes, a blockage might not appear very urgent, but certain ones could cause pipes to overflow or even burst. This makes pressure build up behind the blockage, which might harm the entire pipe system. And if the blockage contains harmful things like household chemicals, it can speed up pipe damage.
To stop blockage in pipes, you can put in filters to catch hair and watch what you let down the drain. Things blocking air handler drain pans and gutters can also create blockages. Clean leaves and dirt from your gutters and HVAC system to avoid this.
As your plumbing gets older, rust and other types of corrosion can damage the pipes in your house, leading to gaps where water might leak out. If your home is quite old and you start having leaks, consider an improvement. Brass pipes can endure for up to 70 years, but galvanized steel might face problems after about 20 years. If the pH and minerals in your water are not balanced, your pipes could also corrode.
4. Incorrect Pipe Laying
It’s best to have a skilled plumber like us at Shelton Plumbing care for your plumbing system, especially in new houses. A lot of sudden leaks happen when pipes are put in the wrong way, which can lead to urgent problems. Since plumbing needs water to move against gravity, laying down pipes and connections correctly and using backflow tools when necessary is vital. If you think your plumbing might need to be corrected, getting a reliable plumber to check your system is a good idea.
5. Damaged Pipe Joints
Pipe joints are sensitive points in a pipe. They are made up of curved pieces connecting to straight pipes on both sides and are crucial for sending water around your house.
As time passes, very hot or too much water pressure can harm these joints, leading to their damage. If you hear a ticking or banging sound from your pipes, especially when using hot water, it probably means there’s a problem with the joints.
6. Underground Movements
Tree roots growing, floods, or minor earthquakes can move your pipes. When the ground shifts, pipes may twist, bend, crack, or collapse, leading to underground leaks. If you see slow drains or water supply issues, it might be due to ground shifts or moved connections. Having a plumber check and care for your underground pipes is crucial to prevent fixes.
7. High Water Pressure
High water pressure feels great during showers, yet the more forceful your water hits your pipes, the higher the chance of future leaks. In severe instances, wrong pressure might lead to pipe bursting. Many pipes and taps handle up to 60 psi water pressure. If worried about pressure or leaks, consult a certified plumber to test and adjust it.
8. Intruding Tree Roots
Water leaks often begin outside the house, not inside. Tree roots might disrupt water pipes, leading to dampness in your yard. If you see wet areas, sinkholes, sudden low water pressure, or trees near your house, it’s smart to ask a plumber to inspect for invading roots.
9. Loose Water Connectors
Sometimes, the hoses and pipes bringing water to your appliances might get loose. This happens when things shift or move, leading to leaks. For instance, your washing machine’s hose could leak because of shaking while it spins. If you see water coming straight from the supply line or puddles forming around your appliances, there’s probably a water connector that’s loose or broken.
10. Fixture Cracks
If water leaks, there might be cracks in a faucet or the pipes. This usually happens when something hits the faucet, like if someone accidentally bumps it. It can also happen where you can’t see, like beneath a sink, when things are pushed into the cabinet too hard. If you find any harm to a fixture or the pipes around it, it’s a good idea to call a plumber to look for problems quickly.
What To Do If You Suspect A Water Leak?
Turn off the water at the meter – Find your water meter and switch it off. Open your garden tap – this lets the water in the system flow out there instead of adding more stress to the burst or dripping pipe. How do I figure out the source of a leak? Once you’ve eliminated the roof as the source, it’s time to locate where the leak starts in your house. Your house has a network of water pipes running behind walls, under floors, and ceilings.
You might require a detailed map of all the pipes in your house to estimate where the leak is coming from.
This can be more complex than it might first seem. Inside your house, water can move in three ways. Gravity makes dampness go downwards. Water can move in any direction when it meets materials like insulation, studs, or obstacles that stop its downward movement. It’s not just about finding the spot of water damage, removing the wall covering, and locating the leaky pipe. It’s possible for water issues on a lower indoor wall to start from an upper bathroom.
Call A Plumber
You should contact a plumber now to help locate the leak. The reason is that many successful leak-finding comes from gut feeling and what we already know.
Our plumbers at Shelton Plumbing, who are experienced, have faced many household leaks. They understand where these usually start and how to quickly fix water leaks by getting to them.
Just like most plumbing issues, water leaks don’t sort themselves out. A pipe leak won’t just disappear on its own. If you delay or put it off until the “next weekend,” the water damage will worsen. This means everything linked to water damage gets worse, including the structure weakening and mold developing. Leaks need immediate attention and have to be dealt with promptly.
If you are a homeowner, watching how your plumbing works is vital. Any of these situations could mean a leak, which might cause worse water damage later. If you’ve seen any of the signs outlined above, we at Shelton Plumbing are here day and night to fix your system. Please reach out to us today!