Water leaks happen, usually at the most inconvenient time. This is an inevitability of being a homeowner. Unfortunately, that does not make them any less of a headache. A 2017 study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency found that household plumbing water leaks waste over 1 trillion gallons of water each year in the United States! In addition, a leak can damage your home and cause mold. This is why it’s important to detect leaks and have them quickly fixed. If you notice anything unusual, check your household plumbing for the following causes of water leaks:
1. Brisk Temperature Changes
A rapid change in the temperature, commonly in winter, causes pipes to freeze, thaw and then burst due to contraction and expansion. Once the pressure becomes overwhelming, the pipe will rupture, causing massive water leakage.
Although there is always an exception to the rule, a leaking faucet typically does not cause significant damage because it leaks down the sink or pools onto the counter. That does not mean it should be ignored. Any home water leak should be taken seriously, even if it seems insignificant.
3. Garbage Disposal
The hardworking garbage disposal makes post-cooking cleanup a breeze. However, years of arduous work can lead this fixture to leak. Given all of the food that has passed through the disposal’s blades, the leak will smell foul and can even cause mold growth.
4. Hot Water Heater
When your hot water heater has problems, it can leak a tremendous amount of water. The leak is caused by the metal tank rusting after many years of usage. It’s essential to always keep a close eye on the water heater to quickly catch a leak.
The most common cause of a leaky bathtub or shower is a faulty seal. A bathtub leak produces significantly more water than wet feet stepping out of the shower. This type of household plumbing leak can also cause pesky mold growth on the floor or in the subfloor.
6. Sink Pipes
Sink pipes are one of the most common causes of household plumbing issues. When you have a sink pipe leak, water will stream all over the inside of your cabinets and, since they are typically made of wood, can cause mold growth. Since sink pipes are not visible, they’re out of mind, so this leak can catch homeowners off-guard. It’s important to check the pipes every so often to ensure there are no issues with leaks.
7. Root Growth
Even the most rigorous water usage best practices cannot surpass the strength of nature. Tree root intrusion is one of the most expensive problems because the roots make their way into pipes and cause leaks. Even the smallest leak found in an underground pipe can create a space for plants to enter.
8. Running Toilets
Toilets are another most common household plumbing water leakage issues. Luckily, the fix can be as simple as installing a new float in the water chamber or replacing the flapper.
9. Washing Machine Hoses
If your washing machine hoses leak, you won’t see the issue until it’s far too late. The washing machine hoses are constantly running so if they leak, it can be a major problem and create an indoor flood. The leak will not be observed until there is water all over the floor.
10. Wear and Tear
Wear and tear on household plumbing fixtures is inevitable over the years. This includes high water pressure over time, damaged pipe joints or pipe corrosion. In many instances, a simple leak caused by wear and tear can be fixed by tightening a joint, replacing a damaged pipe section or adjusting the pressure to normal levels.