Why do pipes leak? Is a leaking pipe an emergency?
For homeowners, next to the mortgage and insurance, utilities are a constant. We do everything we can to lower our energy expenses with new windows, adding attic insulation, and everything we can do. Then we notice an increase in the water bill and that leads us to a "plumbing leak detection" search.
Often, a homeowner can find a plumbing leak fairly easily, however, there is some plumbing leak detection that requires the services of a professional plumber. They not only have experience in How to find a leaking pipe, but they also have equipment and tools that assist them. With the technology today, the process of plumbing leak detection isn’t as destructive to the landscaping as it was in the past.
A leaking pipe isn’t always a catastrophe or emergency, but it can become one quickly, and once it does, you have more than plumbing leak detection and repair. Once you have the leak found and repaired, you need to find what caused the leak and find ways to avoid it from happening again. Here are six reasons why your plumbing pipes often start leaking:
- Corrosion: If your home has metal piping, still found in older homes, the water running through those pipes daily will cause them to rust over time. That rust will ultimately over time begin corroding the pipes with the rust eating a hole through the pipes. Depending on where the rusted pipes are, it may take the experience of a professional plumber to determine the plumbing leak detection.
- Cracks: A cracked plumbing pipe is not good news, and many homes today are equipped with a plumbing system that has a pressure regulator. This keeps the water at a specific pressure level. A cracked water pipe will lead to plumbing failure if not found and repaired. It usually starts with a drip and as the pressure begins to force the water through the crack, eventually, the water pipe walls give way.
- Seals: Plumbing contains many parts and pieces, several sections, and any appliance that has water provided to it or water that comes from it will have seals to bring those parts, pieces, and sections together. A seal is made of rubber and over time, they dry out, cracked, and worn. Once that happens, they are no longer able to do the job they were installed for doing.
- Blockage: A plumbing leak detection can often be traced back to a blocked pipe, which can be caused by old pipes or tree roots. Once the tree roots break into a water pipe, the food, human waste, and anything you flush or rinse through the plumber become hung up on the tree roots. That creates a blockage and if the waste and water can’t flow through the pipe, it will burst through the pipe walls.
- Joints Damaged: As we mentioned earlier, plumbing has connections and joints, and these are weak points of the plumbing system. When those joints are damaged or become weak, this is where plumbing leak detection will be found.
- Water Pressure: If the water pressure regulator produces too much pressure, it can cause water pipes to burst. Yes, a good hard pressure of hot water is nice for the shower, but not if you have a plumber out for the plumbing leak detection process on a frequent basis.
What is plumbing leak detection?
An undetected plumbing leak can result in a 15% to 30% loss of water. A plumbing leak detection is a test that finds water leaks inside walls or underground that can’t be found with the naked eye. Thanks to the technology available today, plumbing leak detection is available for both external and internal leaks.
Is there a tool to detect a water leak? and How does plumbing leak detection work?
When a plumber has ruled out any fixture or surface leaks, they will perform plumbing leak detection inside walls and underground. The tool that most plumbers find to be effective in plumbing leak detection tool is sound detection equipment that consists of headphones and a microphone.
With this equipment, the plumber is able to listen for running water inside the walls or underground. Their equipment may include pipe locator clamps they place on visible pipes that transmit a radar signal over the water pipes.
When the sound registers on the device, a higher frequency is then transmitted to a security system. This identifies the amplified leak so that the issue can be addressed.
How can I tell if my pipes are leaking?
Some plumbing leak detection can be done by the homeowner using these methods:
- Water meter check: Your water meter is the best plumbing leak detection tool you have. Start by turning off the water at the meter then check the water meter. If the meter is moving, this indicates you have a leak on your side of the meter.
- Your water usage: The EPA recommends watching your water usage in the winter as a plumbing leak detection. An average family with four household members should not use over 12,000 gallons of water in one month.
- Monitor water bill: When you notice your water bill is consistently increasing, but your water habits have remained the same, it could indicate a plumbing leak. Take three to four months of water bills and compare the cost. If you haven’t had any water usage increase, your water bills should be within the same range each month.
- Food coloring: Toilets are notorious for as much as 30 percent of the water used in the average home. For toilet plumbing leak detection, add a couple of drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 10 minutes, there is a water leak in your toilet.
- Exterior usage: If you haven’t been successful with plumbing leak detection inside your home, it may be on the exterior. Check all the outdoor spigots by connecting the garden hose and if water is seeping through the connection while the water is on, the rubber gasket inside the hose ends needs to be replaced. Even the smallest water leak can waste more than 6,000 gallons in one month.
- Common sense: On a regular basis, check inside the cabinets under the sinks. If you notice a mildew or mold odor, there is probably a leak somewhere.
How do I find a plumbing leak in my wall?
Plumbing leak detection in the walls is usually can be determined by water damage signs like discoloration on the walls and wallpaper peeling.
So, You Found a Water Leak – How do you fix a plumbing leak?
A leaking water pipe can do a lot of damage if not found and fixed. Depending on the location and size of the plumbing leak, you can do a temporary fix with epoxy putty or pipe clamps. This will hold long enough for your plumber to arrive, but don’t plan on using it for the long term.
You can also find videos online or sign up for a class at your local big box home improvement store for a permanent repair. Call (310) 363-8955 today for your water leak repair needs in San Pedro, CA.