Discovering a leak in your home’s plumbing is not the best way to start your day. Plumbing leaks can pop up in many places throughout your home. Often times they occur in areas that are concealed like under flooring or inside walls. Having a leak located and repaired quickly can save you thousands of dollars in property damage. Below we have outlined some of the most common causes of water leaks and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Rust & Corrosion
Rusted out or corroded pipes are one of the leading causes of severe plumbing leaks. Over time plumbing pipes can corrode or break due to many factors including:
Oxygen Volume: Oxygen is a key component when it comes to degrading metals. Over time oxygen can convert metal to rust leading to the depositing of impurities along the inside of pipes. Given enough time those impurities create restrictions and blockages that eventually form breaks and cracks in piping.
Mineral Levels: Depending on the type and concentration level minerals can either be helpful or harmful to a homes plumbing system.
Oxidation: Over time rust can occur on the outside of pipes. This seems to happen more often to pipes that are buried underground and exposed to soil. This is because the minerals inside the soil can attach themselves to the coating of pipes.
Most homeowners in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex can count on their pipes lasting 20 years or more without issue. After that 20 year mark is when we usually begin to see issues starting to occur. This is simply because older pipes have more time for wear and tear, mineral build up, and excessive oxygen exposure to occur.
Shifting of a homes foundation is another issue that occurs with time. Foundations can shift for any number of reasons including, earthquakes, flooding, or natural settling of a home over time. When a homes foundation shifts, it’s pipes do too, leading to potential breaks in connections.
Another very common issue we see over time is root intrusions. When tree roots grow, they do so slowly. Over time they can press against pipes laid underground in your yard causing pipes to collapse. In fact, it is not uncommon to see roots inside a plumbing pipe if given enough time to grow!
An often overlooked but hugely impactful issue we see that leads to plumbing leaks is excessively high water pressure. Although it may feel nice in the shower, or lead to faster filling of a bath tub, when water pressure gets too high, it leads to weakened pipes, causing premature aging, and damage. In extreme cases it can even cause pipes to burst!
One good way to check on the water pressure of your home is to purchase a hose bibb gauge and a pressure reducing valve. The two can work in tandem to both monitor water pressure and reduce it automatically when it gets too high.
For many homeowners a clogged drain is seen as a minor inconvenience that can be remedied with over the counter drain cleaners or a quick call to a Mesquite plumber. And in most cases they are usually right. However, we never recommend liquid drain cleaning products like Drano or Liquid Plumr! These products are extremely harmful to plumbing systems. The chemicals themselves damage and erode piping, and they work by pushing clogs further down your drain line. This can lead to major blockages, increased pressure, and ultimately cracked/damaged piping.
A better alternative to stubborn drain clogs is having a plumbing come out to your home with a plumbing snake or hydro-jetter to remove a blockage the right way.