How A Small Leak Can Become a Big Problem
When pipes start leaking, you’ve got trouble on your hands. What causes pipes to leak in the first place, though? Pipes corrode, they crack, they burst, and all it spells is serious water damage. The problem is, that you can’t see most of the pipes in your home.
So how can you know that you’ve got water leaks before you’ve got a serious mold problem? There are some common causes for leaking plumbing fixtures, but without the right knowledge, you’d never know what to look for. Luckily, we’ve got your back. Here are some of the key things that cause pipes to leak.
Common Reasons Pipes Start Leaking
Here are some of the most common reasons your pipes might start leaking. More importantly, here are some reasons you might want to call a plumber. If anyone knows what causes pipes to leak, your plumber is probably the best person to ask first!
Broken Water Seals
All of the appliances connected to the plumbing system in your home have seals around the water connectors. It keeps water flowing where you want it and stops you from having your indoor swimming pool. If you notice a lot of “condensation” (or just actual pools of water) around your dishwasher or fridge, you might have a broken water seal. That may be what causes pipes to leak, at least in that case!
High Water Pressure
You want high water pressure for your shower, but there’s only so much your pipes can handle. The typical pipes you would find in a residence can handle a maximum of 60 psi of water pressure. Your psi should be somewhere in the 40-45 range. If you’re not sure what your home’s water pressure is, here’s an easy way to check. High water pressure may be great in the shower, but not when it’s what causes pipes to leak.
Water pipes rust. It’s inevitable. Sometimes we have a habit of ignoring “little” problems with our homes, but those “little” problems become big ones really quick. If you notice any discoloration or dripping coming from your copper pipes or any warping, it’s time to call a plumber. Have them assess the situation quickly before what causes pipes to leak turns into broken pipes. Rusting pipes present their problems to water quality, and ultimately to your health. If you sense a piping system problem, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
Broken Pipe Joints
The pipe joints connect pipes from one end of your home to the other. Your pipe joints are also the most vulnerable parts of your piping systems. Just like your copper pipes, your joints are going to rust and corrode over time. Because the joints have much less surface area, it happens a lot more quickly.
When you check for what causes pipes to leak, it’s always a good idea to look at your pipe joints. The only problem is that you can’t see most of your pipe joints in your home’s piping systems. The best way to check for possible broken pipe joints is to use your ears. When you turn on your hot water and hear lots of clinking and clanging, it could be some broken pipe fittings.
Clogged Water Lines
Clogged drains cause headaches but are easily fixed with some drain cleaner. Clogged water lines are what cause pipes to leak, water damage, and broken pipes. Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your burst water line.
When your water lines are clogged, water is continually backing up. This causes much higher water pressure in your piping system and can easily lead to leaks. If left unclogged, it could cause your pipes to burst. If you’ve got a water line that you can’t unclog yourself, call a plumber before it becomes a more serious issue.
Sneaky Tree Roots
You won’t find every threat to your pipes under your roof. Root systems growing through your yard can cause pressure on your pipes, especially in compacted soils. This excess pressure can easily lead to pipes cracking and leaking. If you notice abnormal pools of water on your lawn, you could very well have a broken pipe on your hands.
Rapid Temperature Change
This is especially troublesome in the winter. Rapid changes in water temperature (or outside temperature) cause your pipes to expand and contract. Over time, this will cause your pipes to crack as the walls of the pipes get thinner and thinner. This will happen naturally as the age of your pipes gets older, but it can be exacerbated by extreme temperature changes.
Knowing the Causes, the Signs, and the Solution
So now you know what causes pipes to leak and what the basic signs are. But what do you do about them? Well, you can try doing pipe repairs yourself. There are plenty of YouTube videos and blogs that can show you how to do simple home repairs. However, as we said before, little problems quickly become big ones.
Your home’s piping system isn’t something you want to take a chance on. When you need to have your pipes repaired or replaced, the best solution is to always call a professional, like the award-winning team at Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing.