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A Closer Look at Leaks

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 1:18am

Leaks are one of the most common plumbing problems you’re likely to encounter as a homeowner; even a single small leak can cause extensive damage and waste many gallons of water over time if it is not addressed quickly. Not all leaks occur or affect your plumbing system in the same way—there are several circumstances under which leaks will form, and many different ways of detecting them. Understanding how various leaks occur, how to spot them, and how your Longview plumber will address them can help you prevent most leaks from forming in the first place, while taking action as soon as you suspect you have a leak will reduce the amount of damage that occurs as a result.

Faucet and Fixture Leaks

Faucet and fixture leaks are generally the most easily-identifiable leaks that occur in your home, particularly if they occur while the fixture is closed. A dripping faucet or showerhead should be addressed as soon as possible, as even small leaks can waste significant water and further weaken the fixture over time. You should also keep an eye out for fixture leaks that occur while water is running—these leaks may form around the base, stem, or faucet handles of a fixture, and are often a signal that the seal around these areas is failing and requires replacement.

Supply Pipe Leaks

Supply pipe leaks are leaks that form in your water supply lines. The most common reason for supply line leaks ispipe corrosion, which occurs as a result of dissolved minerals in your water. Over time, these minerals are deposited onto the walls of the supply pipes and eat away at the metal, leading to small holes, called pinhole leaks. Additionally, decreased pipe volume due to these deposits can affect your water pressure, which may in turn affect the joints that connect your supply pipes and make these areas vulnerable to leaks as well. In some cases, these leaks can occur in the pipes that run under your home’s foundation—these are called slab leaks, which most frequently form in hot water supply lines. Because the water leaking from a slab leak is generally hot, you may notice hotspots beneath tile or wood flooring, or even areas where your floors seem soggy or unstable due to water damage.

Drainpipe Leaks

Leaks can also form in the drainpipes that carry wastewater away from your fixtures, including the sewer pipe responsible for transporting all your home’s water to the municipal sewer system under your street. Drainpipe leaks are often identifiable via their unpleasant smell; these leaks may also cause water damage inside your home that is visible as dark streaks or spots on walls and ceilings. A leak in your home’s sewer line, which is often due to damage caused by tree roots entering the pipe in search of water, can cause areas of standing water or excessive plant growth in your yard. You should never try to deal with a drainpipe leak on your own—your plumber has the knowledge and experience to safely handle wastewater and the hazards it can present.

If you think your home may have a leak, calling in a professional is the best solution to put an end to potential water waste and property damage. Your Longview plumber has access to leak detection tools that will help to determine if a leak is present and pinpoint its location for prompt repair.

Have you dealt with leaks in your home before?

  • Our home has had the occasional leaky fixture, but nothing worse.
  • We’ve had a slab leak repaired, now I’m always on the alert for signs of another.
  • I haven’t had to call a plumber about a leak yet, but I will as soon as I notice one!

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