In every home or building, leaky pipes can be a major issue that can cause significant damage if left unaddressed. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the signs of leaking pipes until it’s too late. In this blog post, we will discuss different signs of leaky pipes that you should be on the lookout for, such as low water pressure, damp or wet spots, and strange odors.
We will also provide you with steps you can take to fix the damage, including the use of epoxy putty, temporary fixes for leaky pipe joints, and creating a watertight seal.
However, there may come a time when you need to call for a professional plumber, and we will discuss when it’s appropriate to do so.
By following these steps and being aware of the signs of leaking pipes, you can save yourself from expensive repairs and prevent further damage to your property.
Common Signs of a Leaking Pipe and How to Identify Them
A pipe leak is common occurrence inside a home, especially for an old one. However, this should not be taken lightly as a leaking pipe can cause extensive damage to the property. To help identify a leak, here are some common signs that can point you in the right direction:
Increased in Water Bill
One of the most common signs of a leaking pipe is an increase in your water bill. If you notice that your water bill has suddenly gone up, but you haven’t changed your water usage habits, it could be a sign that you have a leak somewhere in your water supply lines. Even small leaks can add up over time, causing your water bill to increase significantly. To identify the source of the leak, you can check your water meter before and after a period of no water usage. If the meter reading has increased, then you may have a leak that needs to be fixed.
Wet Spots or Musty Odors
Another noticeable sign of a leaking pipe is the presence of wet spots or musty odors. Water leaking from pipes can cause dampness on walls, floors, and ceilings, which can lead to mold growth and a musty smell. Wet spots on the walls or floors may indicate a leak in the pipes behind them. If you notice any wet spots or musty odors in your home, it’s important to investigate the source of the problem right away. Ignoring the issue can lead to significant damage to your property, and potentially harm your health if mold growth becomes widespread.
Moisture Under Sinks or Around Appliances
If you are seeing moisture under sinks or around appliances, it could also be a sign of a leaking pipe. When pipes leak, water can collect under sinks or around appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. This moisture can cause damage to cabinets, floors, and even the appliances themselves.
Faucets, showerheads, and toilets that are not functioning properly can also be a sign of a leaking pipe. Faulty fixtures may be caused by a leak in the pipes leading to them, which can cause low water pressure or water to back up. If you notice that your faucets or showerheads are not providing adequate water pressure, or your toilet is not flushing properly, it could be a sign of a leak in the pipes.
Decreasing Water Pressure
Leaking pipe can also cause the water pressure from your taps or shower to decrease. If you notice that the water pressure has decreased, it may be a sign of a leak in your pipes. To check for this, turn off all faucets and showers and then measure the water pressure coming out of one faucet. If it is too low, there could be a leak in your home’s plumbing system.
Steps You Can Take to Repair the Damaged Pipe Yourself
To fix a leaking pipe, you need to have the right tools on hand. Here are the tools you’ll need to prepare:
- Hose clamp
- Rubber gasket
- Supply line
- Self-fusing silicone tape
- Copper pipe
- Rubber pipe connectors
- Pipe clamps
Now that you have your tools ready, here are some steps you can take to repair the damaged pipe yourself:
- Identify the location of the leak – Check for signs of water damage and locate the exact spot where the pipe is leaking.
- Turn off the water supply – Before making any repairs, turn off the water supply to the affected area. This will prevent further water damage and make it easier to repair the leak.
- Use a hose clamp and rubber gasket – If the leak is at a pipe joint, you can use a hose clamp and rubber gasket to create a watertight seal. Simply wrap the rubber gasket around the leaking joint and use a hose clamp to secure it in place.
- Replace the supply line – If the supply line is damaged or leaking, you may need to replace it entirely. Turn off the water supply and disconnect the old supply line. Then, install the new supply line and reconnect it to the fixture.
- Use self-fusing silicone tape – Self-fusing silicone tape is a flexible, rubber-like tape that adheres to itself to create a watertight seal. To use it, wrap the tape around the leaking area, stretching it as you go to activate its self-fusing properties. This will create a tight seal around the leak.
- Replace the damaged section of pipe – If the leak is in a section of pipe, you may need to cut out the damaged section and replace it with a new piece of copper pipe. Use a pipe cutter to cut out the damaged section, leaving a clean, straight edge on each side. Then, use rubber pipe connectors to connect the new piece of pipe to the existing plumbing.
When It’s Time to Call a Professional Plumber
Aside from frozen pipes and backups, major pipe leaks call for a licensed plumber. They will have the right tools and experience to assess the situation and repair or replace the pipes correctly. Professional plumbers may also be able to provide additional tips on how to prevent future pipe leaks. Along with plumbing repairs, they can offer advice on water pressure regulating valves, pipe insulation, and other preventive measures.
If you are uncomfortable on handling major issues on your plumbing system, it is best to leave the leaky pipe repair job to professionals. Only a temporary fix can be done by homeowners, but it is not a permanent solution. Trying to do it yourself without the proper experience can lead to further damages, which can be costly.
The Bottom Line
If you are in Mesa, AZ or other surrounding areas, feel free to call us at P&L Plumbing. We offer inspection as well as repair and replacement for faulty pipes. We also offer preventive maintenance services to make sure that you no longer experience pipe leaks.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your leaking pipes!