Our homes are sanctuaries that provide us with comfort, safety, and shelter. They are also a representation of who we are within the style and comfort of our homes. This is why having a well-maintained home, free from things such as water leaks and water damage is part of that feeling of safety and peace of mind.
Even the most well-maintained homes can have unexpected issues such as water leaks which are more common than most people think. Often leaks can be very minor but still leave damage if not addressed quickly. These are small problems that can sneak up on you and become a bigger problem before you realize it so we have compiled a list of five of the most common issues to look for.
Plumbing Doctor® has experience in all types of issues relating to water leaks and damage so let’s explore the 5 most common issues and provide you with a few solutions and tips to help you.
1. Faucet Drips
One of the most common water leaks in households is the constant drip from a faucet. More than just an annoyance, these seemingly harmless drops of water can add up to a significant amount over time, leading to both water wastage and higher water bills. To tackle this issue yourself, follow these steps:
- DIY Solution: Start by turning off the water supply to the faucet. Next, disassemble the faucet handle to access the valve seat and washer. Replace the worn-out washer and reassemble the faucet. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks. If the problem persists, it’s time to call a plumbing professional.
- When to Call a Professional: If the leak continues despite your DIY efforts or if you’re uncomfortable disassembling and reassembling the faucet, it’s best to seek help from a professional plumber. Persistent leaks could indicate a more significant underlying issue that often appears invisible in your plumbing system.
2. Toilet Leaks
A leaking toilet can waste a surprising amount of water and damage the flooring and surrounding area. Fortunately, diagnosing and fixing toilet leaks is manageable and often worth giving a DIY fix to try and solve the issue. Here are steps to follow if you find yourself in this situation:
- DIY Solution: An interesting and well-known tip is to add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and wait for about 30 minutes without flushing. If you see the colored water in the toilet bowl, you likely have a leak. In most cases, the culprit is a faulty flapper valve. If you can, replace it and check for leaks once more. If the problem persists, or if you’re unsure about the source of the leak, it’s time to call a professional plumber.
- When to Call a Professional: If you’re unable to identify the source of the leak or if you’ve replaced the flapper valve but the leak continues, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a plumber. Leaks in toilet tanks can have multiple causes, some of which might require specialized knowledge to address the issue effectively.
3. Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes can cause significant damage to your home’s structure and possibly even your furnishings. Identifying and addressing them promptly is crucial to avoid more extensive repairs. Here are some suggestions of what you can do:
- DIY Solution: Start by turning off the water supply to the problematic area. If the leak is minor, you can try using epoxy putty or pipe tape as a temporary fix. For more severe leaks, you might need to cut out the damaged section and replace it with a new piece of pipe. Once the repair is done, turn the water supply back on and check for leaks. If the leak persists or you’re uncertain about the repair, please do reach out to a plumbing professional.
- When to Call a Professional: If the leak is extensive you’re unsure about the repair process, or the DIY fix doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s essential to contact a professional plumber. Leaking pipes can escalate quickly, causing water damage and potential mold growth.
4. Leaky Washing Machine Hoses
The hoses connecting your washing machine to the water supply are susceptible to wear and tear, leading to leaks. Because the hoses are often there hiding behind the washing machine, maintenance can sometimes be neglected, and unexpected problems can arise. Regular inspection and maintenance can save you from a laundry room disaster. So let’s look at a few solutions and tips to help:
- DIY Solution: Regularly inspect the hoses for cracks, bulges, or signs of wear. Take a peek at your dryer while you are at it even though potential water leaks are a focus. It is suggested to replace hoses every 3-5 years, even if they appear to be fine, to prevent unexpected leaks. When installing new hoses, make sure they’re securely tightened and not kinked, turn off the water supply, remove the old hose, and replace it with a new one. If leaks persist, it’s time to consult a plumber.
- When to Call a Professional: If you’re uncomfortable replacing the hoses yourself or if you notice water pooling around the washing machine despite your efforts, it’s best to call a plumber. Leaks from washing machine hoses can lead to extensive water damage if not addressed promptly as well as what might be happening with the plumbing in the walls.
5. Leaking Water Heater
A leaking water heater can cause significant damage to its surroundings and may indicate a malfunction in the system. Especially if you have a standard tank water heater, a leak from corrosion or damage within the pipes into the wall can become a larger issue. Here’s how you can address this issue:
- DIY Solution: Turn off the power supply (electricity or gas) and the water supply to the heater. Check if the leak is originating from the temperature and pressure relief valve. If the valve is faulty, you can replace it yourself. However, if the leak is coming from the tank itself, you’ll need to call a professional plumber as repairing a water heater tank can be complex and dangerous.
- When to Call a Professional: If you’re unable to determine the source of the leak, if the leak is coming from the tank, or if you’re uncomfortable working with the temperature and pressure relief valve, it’s crucial to call a plumber. Leaking water heaters can lead to flooding and potential safety hazards.
Knowing What To Look Out For
Identifying and addressing common household water leaks promptly can save you from extensive damage, costly repairs, and potential health and safety risks. While some leaks can be tackled with DIY solutions, it’s important to know when to call in a professional plumber.
Remember, safety should always be a priority, and if you’re unsure about a repair, it’s better to seek expert help. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure your home remains a safe and comfortable haven for you and your loved ones and Plumbing Doctor® is here to help you when you need assistance in your home or business.