If you are not keeping an eye on your plumbing system, leaks can get ahead of you before you even realize it. Water can come out at any time and range in severity from dripping to running water or even flooding. Plumbing issues tend to be tricky to handle, and many homeowners are lost when it comes to fixing the problem.
Signs of a Leaky Pipe
Follow these simple tips to help you detect leaks that could be added to your water bill.
You may notice a leak under your sink or on the ground outside your home. The first sign of a leaky faucet often drips from the faucet itself, but sometimes leaks can be challenging to detect. You can use a wrench or screwdriver and locknut to tighten the packing nut just below the handle or try tightening just the packing nut itself. If tightening the packing nut doesn’t stop the leak, turn off the water supply valve underneath the sink, and replace both seals inside the faucet.
Trouble With the Shower
The shower is one of the most common places for a leak. A leaky shower head is usually the first sign of a developing problem. The easiest way to check is to turn off the water, listen for dripping sounds, place a drop of food coloring in your bathtub, close it off, and wait 30 minutes. You know where you have leaked if you can see any color on the surface where water should be.
Drain stink can occur when a drain is clogged or when the grease and food particles build up in the pipes. It’s a sharp, foul smell that can linger in your home for days. At this point, you might notice small amounts of water on the floor around your sink. This is a tell-tale sign of an issue with the drainpipe.
Watermarks on the Walls
Watermarks on your wall may be a sign of a leaky pipe. When you see a watermark on your wall, it signifies that you have a minor leak in your home. The watermark can tell you where to look for the tiny hole. This can also cause stains, mold, and mildew. Leaky pipes are often hidden behind walls and out of sight, making it difficult to determine the source of the leak. A watermark can help diagnose where the leak is coming from.
Basement flooding can happen due to a leak in the drain, toilet, or sewer lines. You can even see water around your foundation walls, which indicates a leak. If left unattended, a small leak can turn into a significant problem that could damage your home and result in costly repairs.
Visible Mold and Mildew
If you notice mold and mildew forming around the joint of your toilet, it’s a significant sign that there is leakage in your piping system. The leak has created a pathway for water outside of its standard drainage path, which gives mold and mildew the perfect place to thrive as they soak up moisture from the atmosphere.
Stained and Damaged Ceilings, Walls, and Floors
While basement, garage, and crawlspace leaks are not always easy to detect, the signs of a leak are evident. If you notice stains on your walls, ceilings, or floors, there is a strong possibility that your leaking water is damaging your home’s structure.
Foundation cracks are a significant sign of a leaking pipe. If there is water flowing around the foundation, there might be a leak. Usually, the water will flow down and form puddles near the foundation by the sidewalk or front door. In more extreme cases, it can climb up and get inside your home.
Reduced Water Pressure
Reduced water pressure can be an essential indicator of a leak in your pipes. While there are many causes for decreased water pressure, the most common one is a leak. A drop in water pressure can also indicate that your filters should be changed or that there are other problems with your plumbing system. To check for water pressure issues, run water throughout your house while measuring the pressure at each faucet with a gauge or test kit.
Strange Noises in Plumbing
Strange noises in your plumbing system might indicate a leak somewhere. These noises may be caused by the water hammer effect – forceful, rapid banging, or hammering sounds that are heard when the flow of water suddenly stops. These loud banging sounds result from stored energy being released as water rushes through the pipes. This can happen when you turn off the water at a faucet or stop the flow entirely by closing valves or flushing toilets.
Rusty pipes are a sign of corrosion. Corrosion weakens the steel’s outer surface, causing it to leak and rust. If you notice rusty lines on your water meter or around your plumbing fixtures, it could be due to galvanized steel piping.
Tips for Preventing Leaky Pipes
There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to underground pipes and how they can become leaky pipes.
Measure the Pressure
One of the easiest ways to keep your pipes from leaking is by regularly checking the pressure going through them. If the pressure is too low or high, the risk of a leak is increased. You can easily measure this by attaching a gauge to your main water supply line.
Tighten the Fittings
If you want to prevent leaky pipes and clogs, one of the first things you should do is tighten up all your fittings. Your water supply will flow better, resulting in cleaner water as well. Tighten your faucets on sinks and showers, tighten the connections under your sinks, and look at your toilet supply line. If it’s loose, there may be flushing issues too. Tighten those connections up not only to save water but also to keep things working well.
Seal the Joints
You may have noticed that you have to change your pipe fittings more frequently than those who don’t have a leaky pipe problem. This is because the water getting behind the fittings erodes them and causes them to swell, which ultimately causes them to leak. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to seal each joint with a waterproof silicone sealant as soon as possible after you’ve installed new pipes or made any repairs. So, whether you’re installing new pipes or just repairing an existing leaky pipe, use this handy trick to prevent future leaks.
If the pipes are exposed, there’s an easy trick to keep them from freezing: insulate them. Using foam pipe insulation, wrapping foil around unheated pipes, or installing heating cables on cold water pipes can help prevent ice roots from forming.
Schedule Professional Inspection
Schedule a professional inspection of your home’s plumbing system so that you can catch problems and have time to fix them. Property owners should ensure that their home’s plumbing system is inspected by a qualified, licensed plumber from Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at least every two years. You can also learn what to look for in attics and basements, where pipes are often not visible.
A leaking pipe can lead to many problems in your home, so it’s essential to take care of it. If you notice any of these signs, you should have your pipes inspected. You can also try using some of these tips to reduce the chance that your pipes will leak.
Utilizing a professional plumbing company for leaky pipe repair services provides peace of mind. A licensed plumber can quickly diagnose the problem and make necessary repairs to ensure there is no more leakage. The urge to try to fix the problem on your own may be strong, but remember that you’ll want to focus on repairing the pipe and not making any errors. Hiring a reputable plumbing service from Bardi will also save you time and money by avoiding unnecessary discounts on your home’s insurance premium or damages that could occur if you are injured while attempting repairs.