Have you ever woken up to the sound of running water? For a minute, you thought you were near a stream or river, only to realize moments later it’s not a serene river you’re next to but a burst water pipe. Water is streaming in every direction! Water leaks are one of the most common plumbing issues faced by every emergency plumber Sunshine Coast has. Minor water leaks can easily turn into very costly repairs if not attended to urgently. But what exactly causes pipes to leak, crack or even burst?
What You Need to Know About Water Leaks
Research has shown that Australians consume and use an average of 100,000 litres of water per person each year. Not only do we use an incredible amount of water, but we lose a lot as well. This is primarily due to water leaks in and around our homes.
Main Causes of Water Leaks Around the Home
Water leaks are one of those things you usually only discover when they’re already a problem, but some insight can give you more control of the situation. It would be helpful if you had some more information about what to look for and how to possibly prevent water catastrophes around the home. Let’s have a look at a few of the common causes.
- Clogged drains: It’s very easy for drains to become clogged with strands of hair, dirt, and other debris. If leftover food isn’t cleaned off plates before washing, it can also add to the clogged mess. Over time this debris will cause the pipes to burst, crack or simply overflow. This creates increased pressure inside the drains. Eventually, water will strain your pipes and cause extensive damage.
- Toilet leaks: One of the biggest causes of water leaks stems from toilets. Often toilet leaks go unnoticed because it doesn’t start as a major problem. A damaged flapper, flush valve, or seal can lead to leaking toilets.
- Corroded or rusted water pipes: Water pipes aren’t items that are changed often. This means that with time and age, pipes easily become corroded or rusted.
- High water pressure: High water pressure can put extreme stress on plumbing pipes, mixer taps, hot water units, and flexible connectors.
- Leaking taps: When taps leak, it’s mostly as a result of an old tap washer. This washer is the small, circular rubber piece between the valve and valve stem. These washers can easily be replaced, and they’re available at any hardware store. When this rubber starts looking worn, cracked, or shows signs of deterioration, replace it immediately. If possible, take the old washer with you to the hardware store, so you get the exact fit. The wrong fit will cause the tap to continue to leak.
As you can see, for some of these scenarios, you can take preventative measures.
Signs That Indicate Water Leaks
Water pipes don’t always leak inside your home. Sometimes the leak will be elsewhere on your property.
Signs that indicate this to be the case include the following:
- Excessively high water bills from one month to the next.
- The appearance of mildew, mold, or fungus in or around the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew can lead to respiratory ailments, asthma, or even allergies.
- Sudden damage to driveways, gardens, or pathways is a clear indication that water mains or pipes could be leaking. Continued water leaks cause the ground to move and concrete to crack.
- Water leaks will lead to an increase in insect life. This is because mites, mosquitos, and other bugs thrive in moist environments. This a definitive indication that there’s a water leak on your property.
What You Should do if You Suspect a Water Leak
If there are any signs of a water leak, it’s important to take action to prevent more extensive damage to your home or property. Here are a few steps to follow:
- Locate the building’s water meter and check if the indicator is moving.
- Make sure no water is being used inside or outside your home.
- Take a water meter reading and then another after about two hours. Don’t use water during this period. If the reading changes, then it means there is a water leak on your property.
- Call a professional emergency plumber to conduct a water leak detection test. This will determine where the leak is. The plumber will then be able to advise you of the best course of action to follow.
Once you suspect you have a water leak on your property, you should call a professional plumber immediately. It might be a small problem when you find it, but leaving it unattended will result in a major leak or even a burst pipe. Not only will you have damage to your property and other plumbing components, but your water bill will continue rising in cost.
Save water, save money and get that leak fixed today!
Featured Photo by svklimkin on Unsplash