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Six Reasons You May Have a Leaking Pipe

A leaking pipe in your house can be a disaster, leaving you with not only a pipe to repair, but also potentially a bunch of water damage to repair. As you call your local plumber to fix your pipes, you might be wondering, why am I in this situation? What could have caused this leak? Here are six major reasons why your pipes may leak.

Corrosion

Many pipes are metal, and with water running through them every day, it’s only a matter of time before a leak develops. Why? Metal pipes will rust over time, and sooner or later, this corrosion will eat through the pipe causing leaks.

Cracks

A cracked pipe is not good news. Most household plumbing systems have pressure regulators, meaning the water in them is kept to a certain amount of pressure. A crack is a weakness in the pipe that sooner or later will 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.

Broken Seals

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 may dry out, wear out, and eventually fail. Any time you have any plumbing work done on your home, the seals should be checked and updated as needed.

Blockages

Sometimes the source of your leak is 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 allowing food, toilet paper, and other debris in your waste water to get caught up. Eventually, the blockage will build, until waste water can no longer 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.

Damaged Joints

The joints between pipes are the weak point of any plumbing system, so at 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 the rest of the time also. Your plumbing is designed to withstand a certain amount of water pressure, but if there’s too much pressure, 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, prevention is your best approach. This means having your plumbing looked at regularly 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 your neighborhood plumber today. Greenwell Plumbing will hook you up with one of our reputable technicians who can keep your water flowing smoothly.

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