Seven Reasons Why You Might Have a Water Leak Emerge in Your Home
Water is a necessity for every person, and as much as we use this vital natural resource, we also tend to waste a lot of it. According to the EPA, ten percent of homes across the U.S. have leaks which waste 90 gallons of water per day- this amounts to 10,000 gallons of water wasted per year.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of water leaks, what causes them, and how you can learn to identify problems that might arise.
Common Causes for Water Leaks
Most homeowners will experience a clogged drain at some point in their homeownership. Clogged drains typically result from everyday use. As hair, dirt, and skin flakes enter the drain, they combine with other materials inside, and this debris combined with soap scum can become troublesome over time.
These particles bind together with soap scum and begin to harden on the walls of the drain pipes. The drain’s opening becomes smaller over time, making it difficult for water to escape after each use.
If left untreated, water begins to back up inside the drain pipe. The constant presence of stagnant water in the pipeline can eventually lead to leaks through the sealant and the seals on the pipe joints.
It’s essential to keep in mind that not all solutions are appropriate for treating clogged drains. One of the most harmful solutions people often resort to is using caustic drain cleaners to fix the issue. Instead of solving the problem, these harsh corrosives weaken drain pipe material, resulting in a water leak.
It can be tempting to ignore performance checkups of household toilets since they are relatively low-maintenance, but there are a few things homeowners shouldn’t overlook.
If a toilet produces a hissing sound and doesn’t seem to stop filling the water tank after flushing, it’s more than likely an internal water leak.
Internal water leaks happen when an inner part of the water tank breaks, gets stuck or begins to malfunction. These are the most common toilet leaks, except you won’t find visible signs of a water leak. The recurring noise can be a good indication of a lingering problem.
Since the tank is out of sight, a water leak could be present for weeks before homeowners realize there’s a problem. This kind of water leak isn’t expensive to fix, but it could affect your water utility bill since water is leaking continuously into your toilet.
If the water leak is visible, this indicates the problem lies elsewhere. When water is
coming from either the base of the toilet or any surrounding areas, inspecting the water supply line found outside of the toilet can help narrow down the problem.
When the supply line is the culprit, visible signs of water pooling at the toilet’s base where the water line is will be present. If the supply line needs replacing, you may find water stains along the wall and floor.
High Water Pressure
Several conditions can suggest your water pressure is probably set too high. Learning to identify the most common signs of high water pressure is essential for anyone who owns a home.
Water pressure is generally measured in pound-force per square inch or psi. Homeowners should set their home pipe system to anywhere between 30-80 psi, but this can vary depending on the state you live in since some states have higher psi guidelines than others.
High water pressure can lead to plumbing problems beginning with your pipes. High water pressure creates a lot of unnecessary strain on your plumbing system. If you have copper pipes installed in your home, this can often lead to pinhole leaks, otherwise known as slow dripping leaks.
Another common sign of high water pressure at home is a loud noise coming from your pipes when you suddenly turn off a faucet. This sound is known as “water hammer,” hence the pounding hammer noise it produces. Water hammer is a direct result of hydraulic shock experienced by your pipes when a faucet is turned off unexpectedly.
The high water pressure causes water pipes to hammer into each other or the bordering frame causing pipes to break. If homeowners suspect this is happing in their home, it is recommended you hire a professional before the problem turns into a water leak emergency.
Water leaks resulting from root intrusion are uncommon, but for homeowners who have large trees surrounding their home, it could be the reason why they’re experiencing problems with their plumbing system.
Intruding roots can affect the main sewer line and the main water line, negatively impacting your situation at home. If foul smells are present outside of your home or in your basement, or you detect wet, bubbling patches on your lawn’s ground, this could indicate intruding roots have impacted your sewer line.
Impacted water lines lead to cracked pipes and even more significant problems for your water system. There are a few signs to look for within your home to analyze if roots have potentially impacted your home water lines:
- Slow draining faucets, bathtubs, and appliances
- Low-water pressure in fixtures
- Loud gurgling sounds
- Continuous clogging in toilets, faucets, and bathtubs
- Having to plunge your toilet often
- Slow water drainage from tubs or faucets
- Gurgling sounds coming from drains
All water lines are critical for any home, but your sewer line is the most important due to possible health hazards that might result from impacted water lines.
Wear & Aging
Home’s require frequent maintenance to assess the condition, age and wear of a home’s plumbing system. As pipelines age, they begin to show signs of decay and become more susceptible to breaking, leaking, and holes.
Having discolored water might warrant some attention as it could point to a problem with your home’s or the city’s pipe system. Homeowners can lookout for a few signs that might indicate the plumbing system needs repairs or replacement.
If paint begins to bubble and peel on the walls or ceiling, it’s typically the result of moisture. Brown spots, discoloration, or blistering may also be present. Often this is the result of a leaking roof or caused by a leak in the nearby plumbing system.
A good rule of thumb is to check uncovered pipes from time to time for signs of corrosion, rust, or brittle material. If you notice discolored pipelines, it could point to a leak or that repairs are needed.
Apart from the above, home appliances become troublesome when your plumbing infrastructure has reached its expected lifespan. When the seals on your machines start to break or wear out, homeowners want to investigate the cause immediately since broken seals cause water leaks in appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators.
Homeowners can have broken or damaged seals replaced before having to replace any pipes. In addition, double-checking the home’s latest water pressure reading can help rule out other causes.
Corrosive water, also known as "aggressive water,” is water that dissolves materials with which it comes in contact—corrosive water results in the dissolving of metals from the household plumbing system. In more severe cases, it can create holes in the metal pipes and cause water leaks.
Homes with metal plumbing systems could see corrosive water dissolving copper or lead from pipes or fixtures. If blue or green-ish stains are visible around faucets and bathroom fixtures, it could also be a sign of corrosion in copper pipelines.
In more severe cases, corrosion could dissolve lead from metal pipes or fixtures. This can lead to more severe health concerns. If you suspect corrosive water in your home, hire a plumber to test the water since usually there are no other visual signs, taste, or odor left behind. Using a stability or saturation index will help determine if water is corrosive using some of the criteria described above.
Damaged pipe joints
Installing a home plumbing system can get complicated. Luckily pipe joints make this effort a lot easier. Pipe joints are essential fittings used to connect straight pipe sections and help with adaptation to the home’s shape and size. Pipe joints also help regulate the flow of water.
Just like other components present in a home’s plumbing system, pipe joints can break down or bring about problems over time. These joints are the most delicate sections of water pipelines. Over time they can deteriorate and cause water to leak.
A good indication there may be a persisting problem with damaged pipe joints could be the presence of noisy pipes. Usually, a ticking or banging noise will appear when hot water is in use.
Loud banging noises can illustrate that pipe joints are under significant pressure. You should have a plumber evaluate your plumbing system once a year to ensure everything is running correctly and, most importantly, that there are no water leaks.
Preventing Water Leaks
Having a water leak plan in place will help homeowners prepare for a potential water leak emergency. You must have your home insurance policy and contact information and your home warranty company’s on hand as they will help you get instant advice. A trusted plumber who homeowners can reach at all times is essential as they will know how to identify the source of the problem.
But before water emergencies appear, homeowners can have preventative measures in place to guard against water leaks. Installing a PowerX water monitoring system will ensure protection against water leaks in your home. How? PowerX detects and alerts homeowners when a water leak is present and identifies where water is dripping, giving homeowners peace of mind.
Supercharge your water monitoring with PowerX and prevent water leaks before they emerge.