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A leaking pipe in your home can be a disaster, leaving you with not only a pipe to repair, but also potentially a bunch of water damage to fix. As you start making phone calls to get the work started, you might be wondering, why am I in this situation? What could have caused this leak? Here are six major reasons why pipes leak.
Many pipes are metal, and with water running through them day in and day out, it’s only a matter of time before they spring a leak. Why? Metal pipes tend to rust over time, and eventually, this corrosion will eat through the pipe and start causing leaks.
A cracked pipe is bad news. Most household plumbing systems have pressure regulators, which means the water in them is kept under a decent amount of pressure. A crack is a weakness in the pipe that will eventually lead to failure. It might start as a drip or a small leak, as the pressure slowly forces water through, but eventually the pipe walls will give way, and you’ll find yourself swimming in regret that you didn’t do something about it sooner.
Since your plumbing isn’t one continuous piece, but has many sections and appliances it provides water to, it also has many seals to keep those connections from leaking. Over time, however, seals wear out, dry out, and fail. Any time you have any plumbing work done on your home, the seals should be checked and updated as needed.
It may seem counter intuitive, but sometimes the source of your leak is actually a blocked pipe. You’ll notice this most if your drainage pipes are blocked. Tree roots tend to get into sewage pipes that run waste water out of your house, starting a blockage by creating a sort of net that allows food, toilet paper, and other debris in your waste water to get caught up. Over time, the blockage will build, until waste water simply can’t get through when you flush the toilet, take a shower, or run the dishwasher. And unfortunately, physics dictates that the water has to go somewhere, so if it can’t go through, the pressure will build up until it finds a weakness in the pipe where it can escape.
The joints between pipes are potentially the weak point of any system, so it makes sense that any damage to these joints could cause leaks to develop. Whether it’s caused by pipes heating and cooling, expanding and contracting, or just shoddy workmanship, any damage to a joint compromises its ability to hold back the pressure in the system.
Excessive Water Pressure
If your water pressure regulator is producing too much pressure, you could have a bigger problem on your hands than you realize. Sure, a lot of water pressure may be nice when you want a shower or need to hose something off, but don’t forget that the water is sitting in the pipes under that kind of pressure all the rest of the time too. Your plumbing is designed to withstand a certain amount of water pressure, but if there’s too much, any weak links in the system will be put under stress until, eventually, they fail to keep the water in any longer.
How to Take Care of Leaks Before They Start
When it comes to leaking pipes, your best approach is always prevention. This means having your plumbing assessed regularly to look for corrosion, cracks, signs of deteriorated seals or damaged joints, blockages or slow drains, banging, and even too much water pressure. For more information on how an occasional checkup and preventative maintenance can avoid expensive leaks, call Maeser today, and we’ll hook you up with a reputable technician who can keep your water flowing smoothly.