When you look at a new, healthy plumbing pipe, you might think it looks impervious to leaks. These pipes are often crafted of sturdy metals like copper and galvanized steel. How could anything possibly puncture that kind of metal? But like any other material, pipes are prone to wear and tear and can become worn down over time. Keep reading to learn the common ways in which your plumbing can leak and how to find plumbing leak repair in Sacramento, CA.
Outdated Pipe Materials
While all materials will eventually wear down to an extent, certain types of materials are more prone to corrosion than others. You may have galvanized steel or copper pipes if you have an older home. These materials will develop rust and weak points on the pipe, which can eventually crack and burst. They may also release harmful deposits into the water as they begin to corrode. You’re much more likely to experience plumbing leaks if you have these older pipe materials.
Hard Water Buildup
In many cities, the mineral content of the water is high enough to leave hard water buildup behind. You may notice this white buildup on your bathroom faucets and showerheads, and it may also leave unsightly spots on your dishes. But what you might not know is that hard water buildup is more than an unsightly nuisance; it can actually attack the inside of your pipes and drains, leading to more rapid corrosion and more frequent leaks. If you have hard water in your neighborhood, it’s good to invest in a water softener. This will make your household chores a bit easier, but it will also help preserve your pipes, so you experience fewer leaks.
Even if your pipes themselves are in excellent shape, you may develop leaks at the pipe joints—those places where two pipes meet and are connected with a coupling or other type of pipe fitting. Water rushes through your pipes (and especially around those bends where the pipes connect) and creates subtle vibrations that you may not even be aware of. However, those vibrations can gradually loosen the couplings in the joint until it is no longer watertight. The good news is, a leak at a joint usually just requires you to tighten the coupling, so this will most likely be a repair you conduct yourself—assuming, of course, that the leak is somewhere easily accessible and not hidden inside your walls somewhere.
Of course, supply lines only make up about half of your plumbing system. The other half consists of your drain lines, which whisk away the excess water and any accompanying waste. Hopefully, you practice good habits when it comes to the things you put down your drains, but even if you do, clogs can still occur. Most often, you can clear the clog, and it won’t cause a leak in your system.
However, if the clog is deep in your drain line, you may not even realize that there’s a problem until it’s already started damaging your pipe. Serious clogs can cause pressure to build up behind them, which can lead to pipes cracking and leaking. This can even happen in your sewer main line, which can be a serious hassle to get repaired. It’s a good idea to look for signs of deep drain clogs so you can have them cleared before they cause major damage.
Many appliances in your home use water: the dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, and water heater, to name a few of the most common ones. If something goes awry with these appliances or with any of their connections, you can be left with a major mess on your hands. For example, a water heater tank can rust as it ages, and these weak points can eventually crack and leak. Similarly, connection points can begin to rust or exhibit signs of calcium buildup, both of which indicate you may have a leak coming your way soon.
Just as joints in your pipes can become loose, connection points to your appliances can loosen, or the hoses that connect them to your pipes can corrode and crack. They’ll leak just as readily as a corroded pipe when this occurs. Luckily, these hoses and connection points are often much easier to reach and replace than most of the pipes in your home; still, if you’re not confident in your plumbing abilities, you should have a plumber replace them for you, as failing to reconnect the hoses properly can quickly turn that little leak into a localized flood in your home.
If you need a leak repaired, contact our plumbing company in Sacramento, and we’ll send one of our experienced and knowledgeable professionals to you right away.