Plumbing Leaks: Common Causes and How to Prevent Them 

Plumbing Leaks

A reliable plumbing system is essential for every home, as it ensures a stable water supply and keeps your household safe through proper wastewater drainage. Because of this, encountering problems, such as leaks, can cause inconvenience and safety risks to your household, as well as lead to costly damage.

Understanding the common causes of plumbing leaks and the preventive measures you can take will help you avoid potential issues and save money in the long run. Read on to learn more.

  • Aging and Deteriorating Pipes 

Over time, pipes can degrade due to rust and other forms of corrosion caused by wear and tear. Accompanied by other factors, like excessive water pressure, this process may accelerate, weakening your pipes much earlier. When this happens, you are more likely to experience leaky plumbing.

While it’s unavoidable for your pipes to wear out after several years, there are ways you can minimize potential leaks and increase their longevity. This includes looking out for signs of aging or corrosion regularly, allowing you to take prompt action before any damage occurs. If you have old galvanized steel pipes, you may also want to upgrade them to copper ones, which are less prone to corrosion.

  • Clogs and Blockages 

Clogged pipes are typically caused by accumulated debris, grease, hair, and other substances that can obstruct the smooth flow of water. When this occurs, it can lead to increased pressure within your pipes, which puts undue strain on your plumbing system, eventually resulting in a leak.

To prevent clogs or blockages in your pipes, avoid pouring oil, grease, coffee grounds, leftover food, and other solid objects down the drain. You can also install a drain strainer. Besides that, make sure to clean your drains regularly, while avoiding harsh chemicals that can cause pipe corrosion.

  • High Water Pressure 

Another common reason for plumbing leaks is excessive water pressure. While it may seem convenient when you’re using the shower or washing the dishes, water pressure that’s consistently higher than recommended levels (usually between 40-60 PSI) can strain your pipes. This may result in cracks, leaks, or more severe issues, like burst piping.

To prevent high water pressure, consider installing a regulator that can maintain the appropriate pressure levels throughout your plumbing system. You can also do a regular test using a pressure gauge to identify any fluctuations in water flow, helping ensure timely corrective measures. If you do not have the necessary tools and want professional help, reach out to a plumber.

  • Faulty Pipe Joints 

Similar to the pipes themselves, their joints can also be damaged over time due to corrosion. Since these components serve as the connection between your piping, any issues with them may obstruct proper water flow in your home and even lead to leaks.

Regularly inspecting your pipe joints for signs of leaks, such as dampness or discoloration, provides an opportunity to tighten loose connections or replace faulty ones. Doing so can be difficult without the right expertise, so hiring a professional to do the job for you may be best to ensure efficient repair or replacement. Leaving it up to the experts also helps prevent potential damage from DIY efforts.

  • Sudden Temperature Changes

Temperature fluctuations cause plumbing pipes to expand and contract, eventually leading to leaks. Freezing temperatures, in particular, pose a risk, as frozen water within pipes can cause them to burst. In this case, you may end up dealing with water damage that may cause mold or flooding, affecting your home’s safety and structural integrity.

To prevent leaks caused by extreme temperature changes, insulate your pipes during the colder months, especially those located outside, and are exposed to external elements. Disconnecting hoses during winter months and allowing faucets at home to drip slightly can also prevent frozen pipes.

Get Trusted and Reliable Piping Services

Now that you know more about the causes of plumbing leaks and how to prevent them, you can take better care of your pipes and prevent potential problems from occurring. Still, if you suspect a leak or other piping problems at home, contact a plumber immediately. Besides saving you time and effort, hiring a professional ensures safe and efficient plumbing services.