A small leak can become a big problem if it goes unnoticed or ignored. Besides raising your bill, a leak can lead to damage to your plumbing system, your yard, or your home. Thankfully, many leaks can be prevented—and easily! Here’s how to tackle a few common household offenders, so you can ensure your plumbing is working smoothly and your home is protected.
If you notice a leak in your home, whether from one of the locations listed below or somewhere else in the house, call C&W Plumbing! We’re here to help you with routine maintenance, finding and stopping small and large leaks, remodeling, and emergency plumbing situations. Reach out at 972-395-2597 to see how we can help you.
1. Washing Machine
Your washing machine, because it uses so much water and because water is corrosive, can be prone to leaks if not maintained. To prevent a leaky washing machine, replace its hoses every five years, and make sure the connections are checked every year. Your plumber can do this during an annual or routine check. You may also want to consider shutting off the water if you’re going away for a while to prevent any errant leaks while you’re gone.
If your washing machine hoses or connections leak, call a licensed plumber to fix the situation. In the interim, turn off the water to your home to mitigate any further damage.
2. Air Conditioning System
The moisture in your air conditioner should be removed by a drain pipe. If your air conditioning unit happens to be in the attic, and you see moisture on your ceiling, it could be a sign that you’re A/C condensation line is clogged or the pan is collecting water. This clog is usually caused by dirt, dust, mold, and similar materials.
The best way to prevent this is to have your air conditioner checked and cleaned every year by a professional. Prevention also includes changing out the air filter every one to three months.
3. Drains and Pipes
If your sewer drain is clogged or leaking, it can cause serious problems, such as sanitary and health issues and property damage. Make sure you have backflow preventers installed on all sewer drains by a professional plumber, if you have a sprinkler system. Also, never pour grease down your drains, as it can harden and clog your pipes.
Another way to prevent damage is to make sure trees on your property are planted far away from your pipes and home. Trees with more aggressive roots should be planted at least 20 feet away from your home’s foundation and plumbing pipes. Otherwise, their roots could penetrate your pipes, causing serious damage.
During cold weather, turn your faucet on just slightly, so it drips. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing. Heading on vacation during the wintertime? Shut off the main water supply entirely, and set the heat to low before leaving; then you won’t have to worry about what’s happening inside your pipes!
Toilets can leak at the supply line to leak, or they can overflow when stopped up. To prevent leaks in your supply line, check it yearly, making sure your tank doesn’t need any adjustment.
If you have a leak in the supply line, it’s time to prevent damage! Follow five steps:
- Open your toilet’s tank lid.
- Close the flapper.
- Lift the ball.
- Shut off the wall stop.
- Get a pro to take a look.
5. Dishwasher and Refrigerator
Since the pipes connected to your dishwasher and those connected to your refrigerator are located under and behind the appliances, they can go unnoticed and unchecked for years. Make sure you check under and behind these appliances every so often to make sure everything is fine and there are no leaks.
When you clean behind your fridge, check the connections to make sure they’re secure. Another way to tell if there is a potential leak is to look for signs of discoloration under your appliances. An odd smell, like mold, could also be an indicator. Make these checks part of your spring-cleaning routine, and you’ll be practicing good plumbing-problem prevention!
Slab leaks are leaks that occur in the water piping under your home’s foundation. Many are caused by improper construction; changes in the water pressure delivered to your home by the city; soil movement caused by changes in weather conditions (from hot to cold and wet to dry); or natural disasters, such as earthquakes. Fortunately, most can be prevented with the right maintenance actions.
Corrosion in your pipes can cause leaks. Avoid them by staying away from chemical drain cleaners for clearing sewer clogs, and be sure to regularly monitor your incoming water’s pH levels; 6.5 to 8.5 is the normal range. pH that is too high or too low could have poor consequences for your pipes and potentially your home.
While not exactly a plumbing leak, improper irrigation and drainage will cause damage to your home. Always repair foundation cracks as soon as possible to prevent water from leaking inside. Direct all water sources away from the home. This can be done by sloping your yard or using water-catching containers or French drains.
In addition, always ensure your water pressure is set correctly. You may love a hot, powerful shower, but it could cause your pipes to burst because of the excessive pressure and volume flowing through them. Imagine blowing up a balloon until it becomes opaque right before bursting. This is similar to what happens in your pipes. Need help figuring out the right pressure? Call us!
After a storm or heavy rain, you may discover a leak in an upstairs bedroom or the attic. You can prevent this by having your roof regularly inspected, especially before the spring rainy season. Any necessary repairs should be taken care of immediately.
Cleaning the gutters, repairing the chimney, and installing attic insulation can also help prevent major leaks from occurring upstairs and throughout your home.
Leaks are no fun! And, if left unattended, they can cause bigger problems. But leak prevention is possible! Regularly check your plumbing, and practice some simple do’s and don’ts.
- Don’t flush items down the toilet or drain that should go in the trash.
- Don’t pours grease down your pipes.
- Don’t put things like potato peals, coffee grounds, or rice down the drain.
- Do regularly check your plumbing for leaks.
- Do call a plumber if you find a leak in your home. It could lead to home damage, health problems, and bigger bills when it comes time to repair.
If you do encounter a leak, consult a plumber to fix it as soon as possible. Whether for leak repair or your plumbing system’s annual checkup, call C&W Plumbing at 972-395-2597!
Latest posts by Chris Edmonds (see all)
- How to Find a Water Leak in Your Home - December 8, 2018
- 7 of the Most Common Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - November 20, 2018
- 5 Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing - November 13, 2018