The best practices to keep your home safe and sound from water leaking
A single leak in your home’s plumbing system will often lead to numerous plumbing problems that worsen with time. Excessive moisture can create pockets of mold and bacteria, both of which can spread throughout the entire house if not taken care of in a timely manner. This can lead to major health concerns for those living in the home. On top of that, a leak can cause wood to rot, causing costly damage.
Ways to Detect a Hidden Leak
You may think a leak is not that big of a deal, but it can quickly become one of the worst plumbing problems in your house. A single leak, without the knowledge of the homeowner, can develop into an expensive leak detection repair job.
1. The best way to detect a leak is to carefully watch your water bill each month. If your bill begins to spike, you know there is a leak in the home. A replacement pipe may be required to solve the problem.
2. Also, if you begin to notice signs of wood rot, wet patches, or mold growth, a leak may be the cause.
Call in the experts to examine your whole system so they can find and repair the leak quickly.
Water Leak Detection & Repair
As a homeowner, the last sound you want to hear each night is the dripping of water. If this is a noise you have become accustomed to, the chances are high that you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
For instance, replacing worn-down pipes is a useful, cost-effective step to remove persistent water leaks. Alternatively, for smaller leaks and less pipe damage, you can hire plumber to patch the problem.
To avoid extensive damage, don’t let a leak sit for too long.
Kitchen Leak Repair
Any homeowner who has experienced a kitchen leak knows exactly how annoying the problem can be— both to find and to solve. Kitchen leaks most often occur in a faucet or the bottom of the refrigerator. No matter the location, the leak can become an irritating, expensive problem. That is why it is important to have any and all kitchen leaks repaired as quickly as possible by professionals.
When it comes to a leak, you could potentially fix some kitchen leaks on your own. However, it is best to leave these jobs to professionals with the proper tools and experience.
What Are Possible Reasons of Hidden Water Leaks?
There are numerous reasons for hidden water leaks in the home, and they all stem from faulty or worn-down plumbing systems. If you have already recognized the symptoms of a water leak in the house, the next step is to simply hunt down the problem and find the cause before the damage worsens over time.
These can include:
• The rubber parts of a toilet wearing down
• The bath or shower handles aging or not shutting off
• A washing machine hose breaking
• Any one of these scenarios could be the primary cause of a water leak in your house, and all of the appliances are worth examining for damage or aging. Your plumbing system is a constantly working machine that needs proper care and attention.
How Can You Avoid Leaks in the Future?
Thankfully, as a homeowner or business owner, you can also do several different things to avoid potential leaks in the future.
For starters, check your water pressure regularly. If you are unsure of how to read the water pressure gauge, call in a professional technician to examine your system and ensure everything is running smoothly. Sometimes replacing the water pressure regulator is enough to prevent leaks on a taxed system.
Alternatively, practice preventative maintenance by keeping an eye on potential problems and solving any small leaks before they become major issues.
I Have a Small Leak, But It Isn’t Causing Any Harm. Is It Okay to Ignore it?
In short, no—regardless of how small your leak may be, it’s never okay to ignore it! A single, tiny leak can wreak havoc on your entire plumbing system, and lead to numerous problems in the future. Even the smallest leak can also cause the wood in your home to rot and this is NOT cheap to repair.
My Water Bill Is Higher Than Normal, but There Are No Signs Of a Leak. What’s Going On?
Leaks are some of the most common causes of abnormally high water bills. If there is no sign of a leak, however, other factors may be contributing to your increasing water bill.
These factors can include:
• Too-frequent watering of your lawn. When you water your lawn an excessive amount, this can really increase your water bill. Try conserving some of that water, instead!
• A change in your home’s normal water routine. Have you had a lot of guests in your home recently? Or have you invested in a new swimming pool? These factors and more can affect your water bill.
• A well-hidden leak. Just because you don’t see a leak doesn’t mean that one doesn’t exist. Some underground slab leaks and leaks in the main water line can be very difficult to detect without professional help.
What Are the Common Units of Leak Measurement?
One of the ways for plumbing experts to detect leaks is by using the common units of leak measurement. In other words, standard leak detection instruments convert the pressure change measurement of leaks to certain values; all plumbing technicians use these same units of measurement.
Before I bring in a Plumber to Find a Leak in My Home, Can I Try to Find the Problem Myself?
You can certainly try to attempt to find a leak on your own before calling a plumber. Here are some ways to do that:
• Check your hot water tank
• Check your toilet for potential leaks by removing the top from the tank
• Monitor the line running from the water meter to your home
• If you have a garden, check outdoor hoses and taps
• Examine out your shower head
A slab leak is a serious problem that, if left unaddressed can threaten the foundation of your home. Slab leaks are water leaks that occur within the slab foundation of a building and can lead to a variety of problems, such as shifting foundations, mold and mildew growth, water damage, increased water bills, and more.
Signs of a Slab Leak
Because this type of leak is literally hidden within the foundation of a building, it can be difficult to determine when you have a slab leak. However, it’s crucial that you’re able to recognize the signs of a slab leak early on so that you can call for professional leak detection and repair services. Allowing a leak to continue can result in structural damage to your home, not to mention serious health and safety risks.
Some of the most common signs of a slab leak include but are not limited to:
• The sound of running water, even when all faucets/fixtures have been shut off
• Visible cracks in the walls or flooring from the house “settling”
• Excessive moisture in your home or the presence of mold and/or mildew
• Soggy spots in your carpeting or flooring
• Unexplained increases on your monthly water bills
If you notice any of these signs or any other signs of a leak, contact a professional right away!
How Are Slab Leaks Fixed?
Depending on the size of the leak and the extent of damage, slab leaks can be somewhat time-consuming to repair. However, this should not deter your from scheduling professional slab leak repair services. You could risk even greater damage and more costly repairs the longer you wait to have a slab leak repaired.
Are Slab Leak Repairs Covered Under Homeowners’ Insurance?
Unfortunately, this type of plumbing service is not typically covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. Financing a slab leak repair service is likely the most cost-effective option for most homeowners. While financing a large project can seem daunting, it is certainly a better option than ignoring a potential slab leak, which could result in dangerous structural damage to your home. Ultimately, choosing to financeyour slab leak detection and repair service will save you money in the long run.
Water Heater Maintenance
Perform regular inspection for the water pressure and sediment buildup in your water heater to ensure that everything is running properly.
Too much water pressure in the home can spell trouble for many home fixtures, including water heaters. Dishwashers, refrigerator icemakers, and other appliances that store water can be negatively affected by heavy water pressure, so to make sure that your water heater is protected try installing the pressure reducing valves if the water pressure is above 80 psi.
Get Rid of Sediment
It is common in homes, especially those with hard water, to experience sediment buildup in their water heaters. Switching your water heater service port can help to reduce the amount of sediment that ends up in the bottom of your water heater and can negatively affect the output of the appliance. A plumber with enough experience can help you make that switch and improve the efficiency of your water heater.
Myths about Drains
Among the most common problems that a homeowner will face is in regards to their drains. The following are a few of the most common myths that a new homeowner will have regarding their drain system.
Drain Cleaners Are Not Harmful
One of the first misconceptions that a homeowner has regarding their drains is that drain chemicals will fix just about any clog. The fact is that drain chemicals are usually not that effective and if used on a regular basis, they can be quite harmful to a home’s plumbing system. Instead of pouring these chemicals down the drains, the homeowner will need to find a professional to unclog them. The frequent use of these cleaners will usually kill the good bacteria in a septic tank and can prohibit the breaking down of solid waste.
All Liquid Substances Can Go Down the Drain
Another very common misconception that a person has regarding their drain system is that all liquids can go down the drain. This is not the case due to the damage that some liquids, namely grease, can do to a drain system. Most of the clogs that occur in a home come from the kitchen due to the substances that get poured down the drains.
From cooking to cleaning, you use your kitchen sink for a lot of tasks. If the drain becomes clogged, you’re going to notice immediately, and it's going to be a pretty big inconvenience until it gets fixed. Kitchen sink clogs are typically the result of food debris and cooking grease that build up along the sides of your pipes over time. Many stores sell chemical drain cleaners to tackle these types of clogs, but there are several reasons why you should stay away from them. These products are harsh and may ruin your plumbing system, plus they are highly corrosive and dangerous to handle. What we recommend instead is a more natural, yet still highly effective treatment: enzyme drain cleaners.
What Are Signs You Need Drain Cleaning?
A clogged drain may not seem too problematic at first, but it can become a severe issue if you don't notice the signs. You should always get clogs removed as early as possible. Of course, there are other reasons that your drains might require a thorough, professional cleaning.
Watch for the following signs that it’s time for professional maintenance:
• Slow drains – Excessive buildup of minerals and grease can block your pipes, slowing the drain. When you notice sluggish plumbing, address the problem as promptly as possible.
• Odd odors – If you begin to notice a strange smell wafting up from your drains, you could be facing a pipe blockage. A sewer smell that comes from multiple drains indicates either a problem with the venting system or a broken sewer pipe.
• Frequent clogs – As we said, you should watch for more than clogs. However, frequent clogs often point to a larger problem. Don’t hesitate to get professional help!
Fixing Common Drain Problems
As a homeowner, you should never underestimate a drain problem. A clogged or slow-moving drain may seem insignificant, but it may escalate fast into something much worse. A slow drain typically indicates a larger problem, such as a clog, mineral buildup, or improper grading. Each of these conditions can cause serious problems, and each requires an experienced technician.
Whether you’re having trouble with recurring clogs, multiple drainage clogs, a foul odor, or something else entirely, multiple clogs typically point toward a problem with the sewer line, as does a foul odor. If this is the case, hiring professional to tackle is recommended.
Tips for Preventing Clogged Drains
Drains seem to like to clog at the worst possible moments — for instance, just before you need to start dinner. Whatever the time, they’re always a hassle.
While you cannot stop every clog, you can take these steps to prevent most:
• Do not drain cooking grease. Instead, save it in an old can or container, then throw it in the trash.
• When disposing of coffee grounds, toss them in the garbage or onto a mulch pile.
• Cover the drain opening with a screen or grate to minimize hair and soap scum.
• After each use, run a bit of hot water down the drain.
• Occasionally, toss a handful of baking soda down the drain, and then run the hot water.
• If you perform these steps regularly, you should notice a significant decline in your number of drain clogs.
How a Natural Enzyme Drain Cleaner Can Help Any Home Kitchen
Persistent clogs typically do not respond well to baking soda or vinegar treatments, but there is another natural drain cleaning method that does work: enzyme drain cleaners. These eco-friendly drain cleaning products contain living bacteria, which produce enzymes that break down organic buildup in your plumbing system. These natural enzymes are the perfect solution to a clogged kitchen drain, where efficient water flow is critical.
The best part about enzyme cleaners, besides the fact that they are very safe to use, is that they continue to work over time. You’ll notice noteworthy results almost immediately, but the enzymes will actively clean your drain for weeks or even months after the first use. Your disposal and drain will remain clear as the bacteria in your drain continue to break down any solids.
Add Enzyme Drain Cleaners to Your Drain Maintenance Routine
The most efficient way to solve a drain clog is by preventing one altogether. There’s a reason so many plumbers highly recommend preventative maintenance. When properly cared for, your plumbing system will reward you by functioning correctly.
Here's what you can do to avoid drain clogs:
• Use drain covers to prevent hair or food debris from falling into the drain
• Run hot water down the drain after each use
• Toss a handful of baking soda down the drain, then run the hot water to remove buildup and odors
• Add enzyme drain cleaner to your drain on an as-needed basis