Have you spotted damage from leaky pipes in your home? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates American households waste 1 trillion gallons of water every year. A leak as small as a pinhole can start a devastating chain reaction in a home, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Once you become aware of a leak in your pipes, repair the problem immediately. You could preserve your home’s infrastructure and save hundreds of dollars annually on plumbing repairs and water bills.
What Causes a Leaky Pipe?
An aged plumbing system is more likely to spring a leak. The chemical balance in the water can begin to wear on a system that has contained water flow for years. If the groundwater measures acidic on the pH scale, erosion will escalate quickly on copper pipes.
Water velocity increases at sharp turns in the plumbing system, putting a greater stress on those sections. The treads in the corner joint pieces can break down, especially if they were installed incorrectly, or if the system’s circulation is pumping unnecessarily hard.
What Damage Can Occur?
If a pipe begins leaking behind a wall, water can ruin the entire section of drywall or plaster. If it goes unnoticed, mold can set in, compromising the safety of the wall’s studs and posing a health hazard to the home’s inhabitants.
Can You Fix a Leaky Pipe?
Some homeowners may want to repair the leaky pipe on their own. Using epoxy putty and plumber’s tape, you might be able to slow or stop the leak for the moment. However, be aware that these tactics will only provide temporary relief. A leaky pipe should be replaced, and in the case of a copper pipe, the new pipe section must be soldered to ensure successful installation. A plumber should have the necessary tools on hand to complete the task correctly the first time. Many leaks in a plumbing system may signal the need for a complete system replacement.
How Soon Should You Contact a Plumber?
Be sure to contact a local plumber with a fast response time immediately after you discover a leaky pipe or suspicious water damage. If you aren’t sure your home has a leak, check your water meter reading. Do not use water for a span of a few hours, then check the reading again. If you notice a difference, ask a plumber to examine your system for leaks. Your home might fall into the 10 percent which wastes 90 or more gallons daily. You are sure to notice a difference in your next water bill if you cut usage down by 2,700 gallons or more per month.
The ideal time to contact a plumber is before you discover a major leak in your home. By establishing a relationship with a local, trustworthy plumber, you are prepared when you notice the first signs of damage from leaky pipes.