What are the most common causes of plumbing leaks?
When you think about it, we kind of take the plumbing in our home and other buildings for granted. We just assume it is going to work and, when it does, we don't really think much more about it. When it isn't working like it should though, it can be a frustrating (and messy!) set of circumstances.
One of the biggest nuisances around when it comes to disruptive plumbing is a water leak. Whether you can actually see the leak happening with your own eyes, or you have a sneaky suspicion that a rogue leak is somewhere hidden, water escaping from somewhere it shouldn't is an annoyance you can do without. So, what causes water leaks and who should you contact when you have one?
Common causes of plumbing leaks
There are a huge range of reasons as to why you could have a water leak occurring, however we have put together the common culprits that occur on a regular basis. If you have any further questions regarding water leaks or plumbing leak detection, give Everyday Plumbing a call on 0488 801 008 and we will be able to assist.
Deterioration of piping
This is a big one, and it can be very tricky to actually locate the issue or necessarily prevent it. If you have an older home, or you are unsure as to how old your residence actually is, your pipes may be getting old and deteriorating. This is caused by consistent use, as well as the natural shifting of your homes' foundations over time. If you are worried about this, speak to your local professional about having your household plumbing checked, as well as implementing regular inspections to ensure everything is looking ok.
Unruly water pressure
Another culprit which you may have even though of is water pressure. If your plumbing is a little fragile or not completed correctly, unregulated water pressure can cause a lot of problems. That is why it is always recommended you have a water pressure gauge handy (they are around $20 or so from your local hardware store) and check water pressure levels regularly. If in doubt, call a plumber to help out.
A clog in a drain can also cause a water leak, as well as a lot of mess if you're not careful. If you suspect that you have a blocked drain, it is highly recommended that you get a plumber in to clear it out, before anymore damage is done. There are plenty of DIY articles around, however remember, plumbers have the correct equipment and knowledge to remove a blockage, whereas you may not. Either way, be careful!
Unfortunately, bad workmanship can also be a cause of your leaky pipes. It may have been that the owners before you hired an unqualified plumber to complete some plumbing work, or it may have been a DIY gone wrong, however incorrect plumbing jobs can cause more than a few issues. If you believe this may be the case, get a professional to review the piping in your home and have a discussion with them regarding the leak and whether there are other areas of concern, so you can address them before other issues arise.
This is a simple, yet common one. When your piping is installed, seals are placed around water connectors to ensure they remain water tight (like the seal on your dishwasher). As the pipes get older, these seals can wear out or break, allowing water to get out. A plumber will be able to help you sort this out relatively easily.
If tree roots have made their way into the piping inside or outside your home, this can cause plumbing leaks. If you believe a tree roots is the cause of your leak, call a plumber to take a look and see what is occurring.
Rapid temperature changes
If your drains are experiencing rapid temperatures changes, this can cause the expansion and contraction of the piping too quickly... which results in pipe cracks. Not ideal, but it can be as simple as an unexpected rush of hot then cold water that is the cause. Have a plumber check out the situation and they will be able to assist with any further action needed.
How do you detect a water leak?
There are a few steps you can take if you believe you have a water leak in your household plumbing:
- Step 1: Turn off all taps, including both inside and outside fittings.
- Step 2: After all taps are off (make sure you double check!) head out to your meter reading and record what it says, including both the dials and numbers (if your meter has them). If you are unsure as to where your meter is located, check at the very front of your property (if you reside in a house) or, if you live in an apartment or townhouse, speak to your water provider or body corporate (as you may not have an individual water meter, it depends on the circumstances).
- Step 3: Leave your water off for a few hours - the longer the better - and do not use it at all. It may be easiest to do this when you are heading out for a the day, so you won't be too inconvenienced (we guarantee that, as soon as we tell you that you can't have the water on, that's all you'll need!).
- Step 4: After you have not used your water for awhile, take another meter reading and compare. Again, ensure you take a look at the dials as well as any numbers and see if there are any differences.
If you find a difference between the two recordings, there is a possibility that there is a leak somewhere in the piping.
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Who can assist if you find a water leak?
If you find a water leak in your home or office, it is best to call a licenced plumber for assistance. They will have the appropriate knowledge and tools to fix the problem, as opposed to trying to fix it yourself.
If you think you have a leak and you are unable to locate it, again call a licenced plumber and they will be able to help through plumbing leak detection equipment. Employing a professional sooner rather than later will save you money and time, both in the short and long run, and you will be thankful when you receive your water bill too!
How can you prevent water leaks?
We all know how frustrating a water leak can be, which means if there is a way to prevent them, you'll generally jump at the chance. And the only word we have to tell you is maintenance. Although maintenance won't magically fix all your plumbing problems, it will definitely assist in ensuring the piping in your home or workplace remains in good condition and any issues can be found sooner rather than later. This helps avoiding more widespread issues and damage (and helps your wallet!), so speak to your local plumber about regular maintenance options all year round.
Your Plumbing Leak Detection Specialists
If you have any questions regarding plumbing leaks in your home or office, or would like to arrange one of our qualified technicians to attend to any leaks around your house or workplace, give Everyday Plumbing a call on 0488 801 008 today. We are experts when it comes to plumbing leak detection around Sydney, so get in contact now!
City of Sydney (Trees and their effects on drains and pipes): https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/213169/trees_water_sewer_fact_sheet.pdf
Queensland Government (Saving water at home): https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/water/residence/use/home/leaks
Toowoomba Regional Council: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/water/residence/use/home/leaks