Plumbing leaks are an unfortunately common problem for homeowners, and they’re a tricky one at that because it can be difficult to locate where it might be. However, all leaks have one important thing in common: they can deal an immense amount of damage in a small amount of time. That means acting quickly, finding leaks, and getting them fixed as soon as they happen can go a long way toward preventing even more substantial consequences for your home.
However, the average home has thousands of feet of piping and lines running everywhere from in your walls to in the floor beneath your feet—how on earth can you possibly begin to know where your leak might be? While leaks can happen anywhere, there are several places where leaks are more commonly found than others. Here are four of these places.
The hoses that connect your washing machine to your hot and cold-water hookups are a prime spot for leaks. Why? Because these hoses are built to be flexible, and flexible hoses typically require a rubber or plastic material to keep them watertight. A hose that’s composed of pure metal will have gaps water can leak through, meaning they won’t do you much good as a hose.
Generally, modern hoses can last about as long as your washing machine does, provided your water pressure isn’t too high and your water temperatures aren’t too extreme. However, corrosion or water that’s too acidic or basic can cause substantial wear and tear that causes the lining in your hose to wear out and leak. To make matters even worse, these hoses are almost always completely out of sight and even small leaks are tremendously difficult to discover since they aren’t in plain sight. We recommend checking your washer hoses at least once a year to ensure they’re in good condition and replacing them straight away if you find any evidence that one or both may be at risk for leaking. They’re not expensive to swap out.
Your faucet isn’t dripping, but for some reason there always seems to be water in your sink, around the base of your faucet, or even beneath your sink in the cabinet below. This is because your faucet is leaking and spilling water out from the base. Leaky faucets are extremely common—as rubber washers and gaskets wear out, they become porous, and a porous or worn gasket can’t contain water. Many of these leaks are so small they can be difficult to notice, and are often easily attributable to water splashing off your hands or other items in your sink.
If you have a leaking faucet base, however, it can waste dozens or even hundreds of gallons of water per year, resulting in a ton of extra money out of your pocket. If the water drips out onto your counter or down into the cupboard beneath your sink, it can cause mold growth, mildew-like smells, and all sorts of other issues that are a real nuisance to deal with.
Toilet & Sink Connections
Every toilet and sink in your home is connected to a water line. For toilets, this connection is usually on the wall immediately behind the toilet, while for sinks there are both hot and cold-water taps located in the cabinet under your sink. Connected to these small taps are hoses that feed water to the fill valve or different faucet chambers for your toilet or sink respectively. However, because these connections require tapping into a water line, they are a weak point in your plumbing where leaks can and do commonly occur. If you have a leak near a sink or toilet, and the issue isn’t coming from the fixture itself, then the water connection itself may be the issue. If the wall around this connection is wet, then you more than likely have a leak in the line inside your wall, and you should call for a repair right away.
Outdoor faucets are an extremely common cause of plumbing leaks, particularly during winter months. While California is blessed with some pretty mild weather, even during winter months, it’s not impossible for temperatures to plummet down to below freezing over certain nights of the year. For any exposed plumbing lines and features, this could signal a disaster. When the water in these lines freezes, it expands, and when it expands, it puts tremendous strain on your plumbing features, causing them to fail and start to leak.
This is why it’s extremely important to make sure that all exterior plumbing lines are properly insulated and that any outdoor faucets are appropriately covered to protect them from the freezing cold temperatures of winter. Taking this small extra step could save you thousands in repairs and prevent a serious disaster if a frozen pipe bursts from the pressure caused by freezing water.
Got a plumbing problem? Call the pros from John Owens Services at (415) 942-6565 today to request an estimate or get the immediate repair you need.