Prevent a Serious Leak : Recognize Plumbing Problems
Serious plumbing issues often arise when minor problems are allowed to continue without being repaired. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, minor leaks in a home can add up to an average of 10,000 gallons of wasted water in a single year. In addition to increased utility costs, these minor leaks often go on to become serious plumbing emergencies that can add up to costly repairs. By staying alert for the following signs of a developing problem with your plumbing, you can prevent a serious leak from damaging your home.
Dripping Faucets and Showerheads
The constant drip of a leaky faucet or shower head is more than a nuisance. Often, the first sign of a washer or gasket going bad is a small leak. If it is not replaced, that small leak can turn into a constant stream that can overflow your kitchen or bathroom.
When your sink or bathtub takes a long time to drain, you can be certain that there is a developing clog somewhere in your pipes. Over time, a combination of soap, dirt and other debris can develop and block the passage of water down your pipes. Removing these clogs is essential for preventing an overflow that can lead to serious structural damage.
Insufficiently Insulated Pipes
When temperatures dip below freezing, the water left inside pipes can expand and cause them to break. Sometimes, a small leak is present that indicates a developing crack that must be promptly repaired. However, these cracks can be prevented by wrapping pipes in unheated areas and outdoor faucets with insulation before winter weather arrives.
Unexplainable Increase in Water Usage
Many minor plumbing problems go unnoticed until a person receives their water bill. However, you can check your water meter to see if you may have a leak somewhere in your home. Simply shut off all of your water and look at your meter to see if it is still running. If so, then you may need to have a professional inspection to identify the source of your leak.
Prevention of serious leaks requires a careful assessment and maintenance of every aspect of your home’s plumbing. Should a problem arise, be sure that everyone knows where the emergency shut-off valve is located along with the best way to reach an emergency plumber. By being proactive and repairing your faulty plumbing before it gets out of hand, you can keep your water running while protecting your property.