All You Need to Know About Preventing Plumbing Leaks

Before you start thinking about updating your plumbing, it’s important to know whether or not your pipes are at risk of causing leaks. There are several signs to look out for so that you can stop plumbing leaks before they happen. Plumbing leaks often lead to bigger problems if they are not addressed quickly. If you find any of these signs in your home, it’s important to get in touch with a plumber as soon as possible to prevent plumbing leaks from happening.

What are Plumbing Leaks?

A plumbing leak is basically a sign that your water system is no longer sealed properly. It may just be a small, temporary issue or it could be an indication of a much larger problem—one that will grow and continue to cause damage if not addressed quickly. If you notice any signs of water damage around your house or in your yard, chances are there’s some sort of plumbing leak involved and you need to get it fixed ASAP. 

Check your Pipes

Like most things in life, plumbing is something that you can learn a lot about by paying attention. Even if you don’t know everything about your pipes, a little bit of care and maintenance can help ensure that nothing goes wrong. Every once in a while (or more frequently if you notice leaks or clogs), it’s a good idea to check your plumbing for potential problems. Here are 7 signs that you may need to update your plumbing. 

A Strange Smell in Your House

If you notice a strange smell inside your house, chances are that it’s a sign of plumbing problems. And while you may think that it’s just going to go away, it’s not: If left unaddressed, leaking or clogged drains can lead to serious water damage and costly repairs. Therefore, when odor appears within your home, don’t ignore it; take action immediately. 

Pooling Water underneath the Toilet

Dripping faucets and running toilets are two of the most common plumbing problems homeowners experience. These leaks waste hundreds of gallons of water each year, which quickly adds up on your water bill. In some cases, a leaky toilet can waste enough water to fill an entire Olympic-sized swimming pool in one year! 

Worn Out Washers/Gaskets

If you don’t see any leaks, but your faucets, sinks, bathtubs or toilets are working slowly, there may be worn out washers or gaskets. All you need to do is remove them and replace them with new ones. Check your local hardware store for exact replacement parts. 

Stains Around Faucets

Check your faucets for leaks. If you notice stains around faucets, then it could be a sign that there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. Check all joints, connections and gaskets for leaks before calling in a plumber for major repairs or replacements. 

Gurgling Sounds Coming From Faucets

A gurgling sound coming from your faucets can be quite annoying and can also indicate that there is a problem with your plumbing. When you’re dealing with a gurgling sound coming from your sink, shower or bathtub, look out for these signs

  • Water draining slowly in sinks,
  • Toilets flushing less efficiently than usual,

  • Weak water pressure when taking baths or showers

  • Showers draining slower than normal (or not at all),

If any of these conditions exist, it may mean that your pipes are clogged and could potentially burst. Try running multiple hot water taps at once so waste doesn’t back up into drains while you get them cleared.

Cracked Tiles or Vinyl Flooring Near Sinks, Bathrooms and Garbage Disposal

Tiles can crack or get loose for a number of reasons, including over tightening during installation. If you see cracked or chipped tiles in your bathroom, garage, laundry room or anywhere near your garbage disposal, it could be an indication that you need to replace pipes. Over time, constant exposure to water can cause pipe joints and seams to weaken. Water in particular is corrosive so over time it will wreak havoc on weak points in your plumbing system.

A Leaky Faucet

A leaky pipe wastes both water and energy—and if left unattended for too long, can cause serious damage to your home. In fact, plumbing leaks are responsible for at least 16 percent of water wasted on average—nearly nine billion gallons per year across America alone.

If you hear a drip or gurgle coming from your sink or tub, it’s probably a small leak in one of your pipes. If you can’t seem to pinpoint where it’s coming from, add a few drops of food coloring into each faucet: The color-safe dye will seep through any leaks in nearby pipes. Fix them ASAP!  

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More on Leaky Pipes and Leak Detection

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