Household water leaks waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water waste a year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. The problem is that these leaks can be hard to find and can remain hidden for some time before they are discovered; usually after a water damage situation.
Possible Causes of Pipe Water Leaks in a Household
1. Pipe Corrosion. It would be nice if pipes lasted forever, but they don’t. Rust can start to eat away at pipes over long periods of time. This can create openings for water to get out. If your plumbing is more than 30 years old, you’re at higher risk of corrosion problems. Pipes that old are not very good at resisting corrosion like newer materials. Pipes can also be more prone to corrosion depending on the pH and mineral balance in your water as well as chemicals in the water.
2. Pipe Seals. The plumbing in your home consists of more than just metal pipes. You most likely have industrial runner seals anywhere pipes connect to keep connections watertight. Just like your pipes can degrade over time, so can these seals. When these seals crack, water can seep out and cause problems. Older seals and those that become overly dry are more prone to leaks.
3. Pipe Blockage & Clog. When clogs are ignored problems can start and if the clog contains corrosive substances, like household chemicals, it can cause the damage to happen even faster. These chemicals can eat holes into the pipes and is why harmful substances should be avoided to unclog drains. These solutions usually don’t unclog the drain completely anyway. Tough clogs should be dealt with by professionals.
4. Water Pressure. Excess water pressure can cause leaks. The more water pressure there is the harder the water hits the pipes. This can eventually cause leaks, or even burst pipes in extreme cases. If you notice sporadic leaks right after you stop water flow to a fixture you may need to have some adjustments made.
5. Pipe Joint Damage. Pipes are vulnerable at the joints, or the bends that allow the water to be directed where it needs to go. These joints usually have separate curved pieces that are connected to straight pieces on either side. Excessive water pressure and extreme temperatures can be hard on pipe joints.
6. Pipe Fittings & Connections. All homes will shift overtime. This can occur through erosion, flooding, foundation problems, building settling and earthquakes. This movement can cause connections to shift and break.
7. Incorrect Pipe Placement. Many serious leaks are caused by incorrect pipe laying. A plumbing system needs water to flow against gravity in most places. That means pipes and connections need to placed correctly and backflow devices need to be used as needed. Small mistakes are easily overlooked but can lead to massive amounts of water damage down the road.
Plumbing Inspection, Troubleshooting, Repairs & More in Marshfield, Conway, Richland, Waynesville, St. Robert & Greater Lebanon, Missouri
Almost all household leaks happen due to one of the above reasons. Protect your plumbing from leak development and have your system inspected once a year. Schedule an inspection with Randall’s Plumbing today. Call us for all your plumbing needs!