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Common Plumbing Leaks That Occur in Homes

Plumbing Leaks

Pipe leaks often go unnoticed until they lead to water damage, higher utility bills, and mold growth. The best way to avoid these issues is to be vigilant and regularly inspect your home for potential plumbing problems. 

There are five common leaks that occur in homes: leaky faucets, a ruptured water heater, old water supply pipes, toilet supply lines, and the sewer line. 

Faucet Leaks 

Dripping faucets waste water and create an annoying noise. Over time, this can lead to a costly water bill increase as well as unsightly water spots in your home. Water spots can also indicate the presence of a leak somewhere in your plumbing pipes. If you see a water spot and it is located near a sink basin or tub, check for a loose packing nut or cracked O-ring that could be the source of the leak. 

If you notice a leak only at certain times of day or when you are using a particular fixture, high water pressure may be the culprit. This problem is more serious than a drip-drip-drip because high water pressure can prevent water from flowing away from the affected pipe, causing it to back up and leak out of a faucet or other fixture. A professional plumber can check and adjust your home’s water pressure to prevent future problems. 

Water Heater Leaks 

Leaks from a water heater can cause expensive damage. Even a small leak can waste water and encourage unwanted organic growth in your home. It’s important to recognize when a water heater leak is occurring and call your plumber right away to have the problem addressed. 

While you can spot some leaks — like water stains on your ceiling or walls — other leaks may be harder to detect. Luckily, there are several ways you can check for hidden leaks to save your home from costly damage. 

If you suspect a leak in your home, the first step is to turn off all water sources at the main shut-off valve. Next, check your water meter. If it continues to read higher than expected, this could be a sign of a leaky water pipe or a malfunctioning water heater. 

Burst Pipes 

Pipes that burst cause widespread water damage, and they’re generally considered a plumbing emergency that requires immediate attention from a professional plumber. If you suspect a pipe has burst, turn off your home’s water supply and locate the source of the leak. Once the water is shut off, use buckets and mops to remove any standing water from the floor or walls. Then, dry out the affected areas to prevent mold and mildew growth.

In addition to puddles, other signs of burst pipes include water smells (especially if they’re accompanied by a metallic taste), loud knocking sounds in the walls or ceiling, and weakened or cracked floor tiles. Water pipes can also shift or rupture from movement in the soil around them, so it’s important to plant trees far away from your house’s foundation and pipes. Pipes can also burst due to age or deterioration, with corrosion or rust compromising their structural integrity. These issues can be prevented by having your pipes regularly inspected and flushed by a professional plumber. 

Toilet Leaks 

If you see water pooling on the floor beneath your toilet, this could be a sign that it’s leaking from the water supply line. A plumber will check the connection on the wall behind your toilet base and the water supply valve to determine what the issue is. This may involve tightening the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor or resealing a wax seal. 

Leaking toilets might seem like a minor nuisance at best, but they can cause costly damage to your home if they’re not repaired promptly. These leaks can also waste gallons of water and drive up your utility bills. 

To test for a toilet leak, drop some food coloring into the tank overnight without flushing it. If you see color in the bowl the next morning, this means that a leak is present and needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Other signs of a leak include puddles under the fixture or a sudden increase in your water bill. For more information on plumbing issues or leaks specifically, sites like have a lot of resources available.

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