Running water is an essential part of any home, but if it’s leaking then it can be your biggest nightmare as a homeowner. Broken pipes, mould growth and warped flooring are just some of the many damages that can result from not spotting a leaky pipe early enough. But what causes pipes to leak in the first place? Here are the 10 most common reasons why pipes can leak.
Discoloured or warped pipes are a sign that they have begun to corrode, meaning that they are steadily deteriorating. If you suspect your pipes are corroding then call in a professional right away, as debris could be getting into your water and potentially cause various health effects.
Corrosion can be caused by a number of different sources like pH levels, high amounts of oxygen in the water, bacteria, high water pressure compared to pipe sizing, and sand or sediment in your water supply scraping against the pipes.
Degradation and Movement
It may not seem like it, but our homes shift around over time along with everything inside them. As your foundation settles, it’s possible that your pipes have shifted enough to cause them to become misaligned and separate. If your pipe is leaking and none of the other items on this list are the culprit, it may be because they are physically not in the same place they were when they were installed.
If water is flowing stronger than your pipes are able to accommodate, it can over time cause enough strain and erosion on your pipes to spring a leak.
Need a reason to finally unclog your drain that’s been slow for the last few months? In addition to being annoying and gross, clogs can also cause your pipes to leak. Depending on how far down your clog is, the buildup of water can create too much pressure for your pipes to handle, eventually causing them to leak.
Loose Water Connectors
For appliances that tend to move around like your washing machine when it’s on its spin cycle, the connection between the device and your pipes can loosen over time, causing water to leak out. This can also happen when moving appliances around or items near the connectors and accidentally knocking something out of place. If there’s a leak near where your water connectors are, there’s a good chance that they’re the culprit.
Damaged Pipe Joints
Anywhere that a pipe connects to something else is an opportunity for something to go wrong, and pipe joints can be a common culprit. Whether it’s the way it has been screwed in or from too much water pressure at an awkward angle, your leak could be from connection points in the system.
Quick Temperature Change
Pipes can expand and contract depending on water temperature. Usually, this is a gradual enough process that the materials have proper time to adjust; however, if you’ve been on vacation in the dead of winter and turn on the taps at their hottest setting right away, the drastic change in temperature can cause the materials to move too quickly and crack, resulting in a leak.
Improper Pipe Laying
There are many factors to take into account when laying pipes, such how gravity will impact the water’s flow. If a pipe is not turned downwards enough in a spot where gravity is working against it, that can cause a buildup and over time lead to a leak.
No matter where the source of the leak, ultimately its source can sometimes be traced to the way something was installed or maintained. Before you do anything with your pipes, make sure you always choose a verified, reviewed and trusted contractor for the job. If you need any help finding the right service professional, read their reviews on HomeStars!