Water is rightly called the elixir of life. That said, water can also be a destructive force. Household water leaks can be devastating. If left unaddressed, a minor plumbing leak can snowball into a significant concern, and you may end up spending a ton of money on expensive repair, or worse, water can damage your home’s foundation and compromise its structural integrity.

There are several hidden dangers of water leaks. Mold and mildew can develop due to leaks. If you ignore the problem, you could end up with a full-blown infestation. Mold and mildew do not just cause structural damage but can pose serious health risks, especially for people with respiratory issues and asthma.

If your electrical wires get wet, a devastating fire could start. Leaky pipes can contaminate drinking water.

They say knowing the enemy is half the battle. If you have a plumbing leak, try to get to the source of the problem before reaching out to a plumber near Santa Rosa. If you are successful, you will be able to provide them valuable information when they arrive.

With this thought in mind, let us look at some of the most common causes of household water leaks.

Pipe Corrosion

As plumbing systems age and rust, corrosion starts eating away at the pipes, creating openings for water to leak out. Lack of preventive and timely maintenance or inadequate maintenance can accelerate the wear-and-tear on your pipes, causing them to fail prematurely.

Discolored or warped pipes can be signs of corrosion. Some other common corrosion signs include frequent clogs and leaks, discolored water, and poor water pressure. If your plumbing system is more than 30 years old, consider replacing your pipes.

High Water Pressure

Pipes cannot withstand high water pressure. The harder the water hits your pipes, the more damage it could do. In a worst-case scenario, high water pressure could burst the pipes.

Follow these steps to test water pressure at home.

  • If water is moving anywhere in your plumbing system, you could get a low reading. With a pressure gauge, turn off all your faucets, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator icemakers, showerheads, and sprinklers.
  • Connect the gauge to an outside faucet or hose bib. If you get your water from a municipality outlet, select the faucet closest to the water meter. If you get your water from a private well, choose the bib closest to its pressure tank.
  • Tighten the gauge and open the faucet all the way. Check the reading. An ideal reading is between 40 PSI and 50 PSI. If the water pressure is more than 80 PSI, you need to adjust it.
  • If the water pressure is too high, install a water pressure regulator on the main to protect your pipes, showerheads, and plumbing fixtures from the devastating effects of high water pressure.

Intruding Tree Roots

Often, the source of a leak is outside the home rather than inside it. Over time, tree roots can intrude your pipes, crushing them. Sometimes, roots send offshoots into the pipes. As they grow, they create obstructions in the pipes.

If you notice new wet patches or sinkholes in your yard or experience a sudden drop in water pressure, have a plumber near you inspect your pipes.

Seal Damage

When your contractor installs appliances, they put seals around them. As appliances age, seals break or wear out, causing leaks. If you notice puddles of water around your appliances or condensation on them, you may have a damaged seal.

Conduct regular inspections. To prevent emergency repairs, replace damaged seals as soon as possible.

Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are annoying and inconvenient. Some clogs contain corrosive materials and toxic chemicals that can eat at your pipes, causing leaks. If left unaddressed, a clog can lead to overflowing or burst pipes.

To prevent clogs, avoid putting solid waste such as feminine hygiene products, paper towels, coffee grounds, eggshells, cat litter, condoms and grease, fat, and oils down your drains.

Clean your drains regularly. Rinse your sink with hot water. Install drain guards to prevent waste from getting into your drains. To clean a drain, pour a cup of vinegar down it. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then flush your drain with hot water.

Loose Water Connectors

Sometimes the hoses and pipes that supply household appliances with water become loose. In most cases, water connectors become loose due to shifting. Your washing machine hose, for instance, can spring a leak due to continuous shifting and rocking when it is running. In this case, you will see water collecting around the machine.

Extreme Temperature Fluctuations

Extreme temperature changes can cause your pipes to contract and expand faster and more aggressively. This contraction and expansion can damage your pipes. Ignoring the problem could prove to be a costly mistake.

Damaged/Weak Pipe Joints

As pipes age, their joints wear out, causing leaks. If you hear a loud ticking or banging noise coming from your pipes, have a plumber check them for leaks.

John Owens Services, Inc. is a leading plumbing contractor in Santa Rosa. Whether you want to design a maintenance plan for your plumbing system or need help deciding whether you should repair or replace your pipes, our team has got you covered. To consult one of our pros, call 707-207-8592.

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