Gradual leaks can go on for days, weeks and months without our knowledge. We usually do not often take water leaks seriously as long it doesn’t pose a serious hazard. Here is why we should take leaking pipes seriously and do something about them.
- One, a leaking pipe inflates your bills. You use more water than you usually need; your gas bill also goes up because your water heater has to work extra hours to heat the upstream cold water. Lastly, you have to pay higher electricity bills because your air conditioner consumes more energy to cool your home if the humidity is high.
- Two, a leaking pipe wastes water. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “household pipe leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.”
- Three, it may cause structural damages to your home—peeling paint, corroding metal, causing wood rot, and if continued for a longer time, your roof and walls can be damaged too.
Last but not the least, and few know about it, leaking pipes pose health risks as well. As reported by the BBC, quoting research by Sheffield University in the UK “leaky pipes may be causing upset stomachs because they allow contaminated water to get into the system, it is being claimed.”
That being said, unless you have gushing water, it’s often very difficult to identify a leaking pipe. If the pipe is exposed, we can visibly inspect the line and get down to the leaking point—you will usually find it in the toilet, sink faucets, the back of cabinets, or showers. But what if it is an invisible leak? What are the signs of a leaking pipe when it is out of view?
This is what our plumbing specialists investigate in this blog.
Below, we list down 7 signs of a leaking pipe in your home. If you suspect any water pipe leak, read on this blog and inspect your pipeline. If you get a leak, call plumbing experts and they will take care of everything.
- High Water Bills
The first sign of a leaking pipe is an increase in your water bill. According to the EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency), “it’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons (or 16 CCF) per month.” With a leaking pipe, the water will be continuously running. If your water habits have not changed but the bill is still higher than usual, there could be a leaking pipe somewhere in your home.
- Stained Ceilings, Walls, Floors
If your ceilings, walls, or floors are stained, sagged, or have bubbles, this may be a symptom of a hidden water leak. The same can happen if the humidity is high; and if you combine this with other symptoms then that’s a possible sign of a leaking pipe.
Secondly, check for visible mold and mildew along the lines of your system. A little mold and mildew are fine around showers and taps; even in the cleanest homes. But if it is in areas away from water, such as on the walls, this may also be the sign of a leaking pipe.
- A Running Meter
Stop water use for two hours. Check your meter before and after you stop water use. If the meter dial is still running, what does it imply? Two things. Either your meter has an issue, orwater is still running through the system. Most of the time, it is the latter. If your home displays other symptoms of pipe leaks, a running meter would confirm that your plumbing system has an issue.
- Wet Spots
Like the stains on your walls, if there are wet spots in your home, or puddles appearing unusually in your home (often the basement), it is time to inspect your pipeline. Check for discoloration as well. If you find your walls or ceilings being discolored, the culprit may be leaks in your plumbing lines.
- Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks happen when a leak persists for a longer time; this can cause water to seep into the foundations of your home. If the leak is allowed for a longer time, the leaking water may develop cracks in your foundations—as well as walls. Clearly, you don’t want this to happen ot escalate as it can cause serious damage to your home.
- A Running Water Heater
If your water heater is running non-stop, it may be another indicator of a leaking pipe. It is simple. When the hot water constantly flows downstream of the heater due to a leak, cold water immediately flows in. Since this process is continuous, your heater will run non-stop.
- Low Water Pressure
Another sign of a leaking pipe is low water pressure. Water reduces its pressure when it has other outlets available to run through. If you have a steady supply of water but despite that the water pressure is low in your taps and showers, there may be a leak in your main or the auxiliary pipes in your home.
These are a few signs of a leaking pipe in your home. If you don’t notice any of these symptoms, it’s unlikely you have a leak, but if you are still concerned, you may want to call a professional to check to be sure. If there is an issue, we would recommend it getting fixed sooner than later. Plumbing leaks can suddenly get worse without warning, causing serious damage.
Onze Southern Connecticut Plumbing and Heating is a Milford based plumbing company, offering installation and repair with a dependable family service. Call us and we’ll be on our way with our tools to seal every pipe leak in your home.