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Common Causes of Plumbing Leaks | Insight from Your Trusted Minneapolis, MN Plumber

Whether you own a newer or an older home in Minneapolis, MN eventually you are going to need to call a plumber to help you with a leak. Household leaks are simply unavoidable in many cases, and they can be quite bothersome. After all, if you did not damage the pipe you may be puzzled as to how it is suddenly leaking. Sometimes a small leak is a sign of nothing, but sometimes it is a sign of a much larger plumbing issue which is why it is so important to always call a plumber to help you.

The good news though is that most leaks are not signs that your entire plumbing system is about to break down. In fact, most household leaks are simply the result of your plumbing system starting to age. Like anything else in your home, eventually wear-and-tear will catch up with your plumbing system. However, learning about why leaks are happening can help you prevent leaks from becoming a regular occurrence in your home.

Most Common Causes of Plumbing Leaks

Eventually every pipe in your home will leak, but there are factors that determine when that leak is going to occur. Ideally your pipes will have to be substantially aged before you have to deal with a severe leak.

One of the biggest reasons that pipes start to leak is because of broken seals. All of your household appliances have seals where the water pipes come into them. Just like water fixtures in your sinks or drains, eventually these seals start to wear out. If you have an older fridge or hot water heater this may be sooner instead of later. Once the seal starts to loosen or break apart some of the water passing through the pipe can leak out the sides.

Another common reason for leaks that result in a call to a plumber are simple clogs. Unless you have perfect household plumbing habits, at some point you will likely have a clog in your plumbing system. When a clog occurs water has no choice but to back up, and the end result is an increase in water pressure. The pressure can really push at the seals, especially at seals that are already aging and starting to break down. In addition, this added pressure presses against the sides of pipe walls. Eventually the seals and pipe walls will break or start to leak which helps to relieve some of the pressure.

Corrosion is also a common cause of plumbing leaks because overtime your pipes can start to corrode or rust on the inside. Since you can’t see down your pipes, in most cases you will have no idea that this is occurring. This is even more likely to occur if the water pressure in your home is kept high or if you have hard water. Corrosion weakens your pipes so that they are unable to handle water pressure and eventually a leak is going to spring from one of the areas where the corrosion is the worst.

What Can You Do to Prevent Leaks?

The best way to prevent leaks is by practicing good plumbing maintenance and care. Scheduling a plumber to come out at least once every year for an annual inspection is a great start. If your home is partial to clogs, then it may be a good idea to have a plumbing service come out to clean your drains on a semi-annual basis to help prevent clogs that are going to damage your popes more.

In the meantime, you can also help by avoiding chemical drain cleaners. Chemical drain cleaners you can buy at the store and dump down your drains may seem like a quick and easy solution versus calling a plumber, but they have very bad long-term effects. The problem is chemical drain cleaners will eat away at everything they come in contact with, and that includes your piping system. If you use drain cleaners to fix a clog instead of calling a plumber on a frequent basis eventually they will eat the insides of your pipes away until they are corroded and leaking. In general, if you have a drain that is not clearing after one chemical drain cleaner treatment it’s time to call a plumbing service.

You also need to make sure that you are using your drains properly so that you don’t have to call out a plumber for a clog. Your drains are not a garbage can. The only thing that should be going down them is water and occasionally soap. Clogs are caused by something, and you can control your use of the pipes so that you aren’t one of the causes. Too many clogs places pressure on your system until you are just asking for multiple leaks to start. Keep your drains clog free by keeping garbage out of them.

What Do You Do if You Discover a Leak?

Many small leaks you will be able to fix on your own. If a fitting is simply getting loose you can grab a wrench and tighten it to stop the leak. However, if it’s not a leak caused by a fitting you may need to call a plumber. Hairline cracks, burst pipes, and fractures are much harder to repair. If you can actually see a broken pipe then it’s time to turn off the water and call a plumbing service for help.

Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains is a plumbing company in Minneapolis, MN that will be happy to troubleshoot plumbing leaks for you. If you have discovered a plumbing leak in your home, give us a call and allow our highly trained and certified plumbers to fix the problem for you.

Photo By Andrey_Popov at Shutterstock

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