How To Detect And Repair A Leaking Pipe
Leaking pipes can cause significant damage to your home if left unaddressed. In this guide, we will answer your top FAQs and provide you with everything you need to know to detect and repair a leaking pipe.
Leaking pipes are among the most common plumbing problems after clogged drains.
They can occur due to various causes, such as gunk stuck in the pipes, high water pressure, tree root intrusions, etc. and can take a long time to get detected. However, such leaks can lead to bigger problems if not checked in time.
This guide focuses on ways to detect a water leak from a leaking pipe and repair such leaks. In addition, it mentions a few ways such problems can be prevented, so let’s take a look!
If you notice any mould or mildew on walls, floors, or ceilings, the chances of a water leak from a damaged pipe are high. Damp patches on such surfaces also indicate a water leak.
Since mould in your shower or bathroom can be a health hazard, it is crucial to identify and fix the leaking pipe as soon as possible. But sometimes mould and mildew may not be visible as they grow within the walls. In such instances, you can detect a musty smell in the area, or water leaking from pipes may pool in one place and stagnate, leading to the odour.
Alternatively, you may notice wet stains on walls, ceilings and floors, another sign of plumbing leaks. Water dripping continuously in the toilet bowl or from the toilet tank can also indicate a pipe leak.
Plus, your plumbing system may have become old and corroded. Corrosion can damage pipes resulting in water leaks and is most common in older houses. Another common cause of a water leak is water flowing at high pressure through plumbing pipes.
Tree roots that grow into the plumbing system can also result in an underground pipe leak. They can enter the piping through the tiniest cracks and start growing inside, leading to considerable damage.
When dealing with plumbing problems like water leaking from a damaged pipe, there are two ways to resolve the situation. You can use DIY techniques to try and repair the leaking pipe yourself or hire a plumbing professional.
DIY techniques are most suitable for minor problems, such as water leaks caused by damaged or old fixtures, like taps and faucets. Such techniques only require a little skill and can help save a lot of money.
However, fixing a leaking pipe is often more complex. It can be difficult to detect leaks, especially if hidden leaks occur in the supply pipes within the walls or ceilings. In such cases, hiring professionals with the expertise needed for the job is recommended, as they have the right tools and can ensure maximum safety when performing repairs.
If you’re planning to repair a leaking pipe using DIY techniques, some common tools you may need include:
Detecting a leak can be easy once you know the signs, such as mould on surfaces like the walls and the ceiling, discolouring such surfaces, or a musty odour. Once the leak has been located, it can be repaired using various techniques, depending on how it was caused.
A running water metre can indicate a leak, so look for the signs mentioned above to locate the source of the leak.
Before performing pipe leak repairs, the first step is to turn off the water supply from the mains. It may be located in the garage or close to the water heater.
Sometimes pipe leaks are caused by loose coupling nuts, which can be tightened using a hand wrench. Alternatively, the watertight seals may have worn out and need replacing by disassembling the fixture and applying plumbers' tape.
Once the repairs are complete, turn the water supply back on and check whether the water is still leaking. If the problem is not resolved, some other plumbing issue may be causing the leak.
Regular maintenance is the best and most effective way to prevent plumbing leaks and can help prevent situations from getting out of hand. Other than that, installing a pressure regulator on the main line can help reduce the water pressure and go a long way in preventing water leaks.
You can also avoid using commercial-grade drain cleaners, which can eat through the pipes and lead to leaks.
Early leak detection is the best way of preventing pipe leaks in your home. And with the signs mentioned above, detecting such leaks should be easy. If you’ve detected a minor water leak, it can be dealt with using DIY techniques, though in the cases of hidden water leaks, professional help may be needed.
Additionally, sometimes leaks may indicate a bigger problem with the plumbing system, which is why it is a good idea to take the help of a professional plumber. They can help identify any other plumbing problems and suggest the best ways of dealing with them. So, contact your nearest plumber today!
A pipe dripping water at one drip per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water annually.
Leaking pipes can cause property damage worth thousands of dollars. Also, leaks can increase the chances of exposure to asbestos, a major health hazard. And leaking water containing cleaning chemicals or detergents can harm the environment.
If your water meter is constantly running even when all taps and faucets are off, there is a high chance of a water leak. How quickly the metre runs will often determine the size of the leak.
The time required to fix a leaking water pipe using DIY techniques will depend on the cause, location and size of the leak. Generally, smaller leaks can be fixed in one to two hours, while larger ones may take more time.
Applying epoxy putty at the leak’s location is one of the easiest ways of dealing with the problem.
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