What Exactly is Causing My Plumbing Leaks?

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midlothian plumbing

Plumbing leaks are among the more common home repairs that a homeowner will face. Ranging from a small drip to burst pipes, leaks can widely vary and occur anywhere along your plumbing system’s lines.

Issues with your plumbing system can stem from a variety of issues and should always be resolved as quickly as possible. Leaks can wreak havoc on your home, so seek professional help whenever leaks are identified.

Homeowners rely on the Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating team for all of their Midlothian plumbing needs. With 24 hour service, our team is ready when a plumbing emergency strikes.

Common Causes for Plumbing Leaks

Some leaks will be more easily identifiable than others. Here are 8 of the most common causes of household plumbing leaks and what to look for when troubleshooting:

1. Clogged Lines

Clogged lines are one of the most frequent causes of leaks in your home. Joints that are not properly sealed can fail under constant water pressure, as can regular use of a plunger. Most leaks related to clogs will occur near the drain in the pipes that lead to your mainline. Even if the clog is located farther down the system, these pipes are more susceptible to excessive force and contain more connections than your mainline. 

To avoid clogs, use traps in your kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as the bathtub. This will help reduce the amount of hair and food particles that are pushed through your pipes. For toilets, avoid flushing feminine products and flushable wipes as both of these items do not break down as rapidly as toilet paper.

2. Broken Seals

Whenever plumbing fixtures are installed seals or sealant will be used to create a water-tight barrier and prevent leaks. Over time these seals can degrade and lose their effectiveness. This is very common in older dishwashers and garbage disposals but it can also occur where pipes are connected to one another.

Cracked rubber seals will be a good indicator that your appliance is no longer water-tight. For dishwashers, this will be located on the door. For connections, stop your sink and fill half full. Then add a few drops of food coloring before draining. The contrasting color will help identify the connection that needs to be replaced. Call a professional for plumbing repair if necessary. 

3. Fixture Cracks

Sometimes leaks are caused by unintended abuse. Shoving items under your sink or closing cabinet doors when the cabinet is full can strain the connections. Even the slightest movement can cause the connection to crack and fail.

Check for hairline cracks that could be behind smaller leaks. The most common area to see this will be near the P-Trap. 

4. High Water Pressure

Low water pressure is incredibly frustrating, but you might not know that excessive water pressure can actually cause your pipes to leak. Fixtures in your home are only rated to withstand a certain amount of water pressure. When water pressure is too high, or inconsistent, it can cause the fixture to fail and a leak to occur.

Consult with a plumber, Midlothian, TX, if you feel that your water pressure is too high. They will be able to adjust the regulator that is attached to your main to the proper calibration to help avoid any unwanted water leaks.

5. Corrosion

Materials used in home plumbing will vary from one home to the next and is often dependent upon the year that the home was built. While PVC and PEX pipes are not susceptible to rust, galvanized steel and copper will both begin to rust over time. With rust comes corrosion, eventually leading to leaks.

It is common for older homes that have been updated to use a combination of pipe materials. Steel pipes will be more common underground, making them more difficult to detect. Look for uncharacteristically green grass, soggy spots or pooling water outside of the home.

6. Temperature Changes

Although you might enjoy that cooler day as the season changes or an 80-degree day in December, those temperature changes can cause real damage to your Midlothian plumbing. Fluctuations will cause the pipes to expand and contract, leading to loose connections with an increased likelihood of leaking.

Cold weather in particular is something for homeowners to be aware of. Wrapping pipes and outdoor faucets and letting indoor fixtures drip will prevent the pipe from freezing or contracting too much.

7. Tree Roots

Shade in the middle of the Texas summer can be worth its weight in gold. But that beautiful pecan or oak tree could be the root cause of your problems, pun intended. Roots naturally seek out water sources. During prolonged periods of drought, pipes become a prime target for root systems to obtain nourishment. Even galvanized steel can be penetrated, creating the need for emergency plumbing services.

Homeowners will be hard pressed to find a DIY solution for root detection or removal. Frequently the only way to identify that there is an issue is through a spike in your water bill. Work with a licensed plumber that will have the tools to properly assess and remedy the situation.

8. Foundation Shifts

Over time it is common for a home to settle, when this happens the foundation is likely to shift. Even a small amount of movement can have a big impact on your home’s plumbing. Shifts cause strain on pipes and connections, creating an opportunity for leaks to pop up.

Similar to tree roots, these leaks are often more difficult to uncover. Concrete that appears to be wet is a good indicator that a larger issue exists. Most foundation repair companies will recommend that you get any foundation leaks addressed before anything else can be done.

Finding Midlothian Plumbing Services

Attentive homeowners will generally be able to spot when a leak rears its ugly head. Stay calm and assess the situation. Troubleshoot if possible and when in doubt, turn to a trusted plumbing team to protect your investment.

For over 50 years, the Dial One Johnson team has helped the residents of Ellis County tackle every plumbing issue imaginable. With offices located in Midlothian and Cedar Hill, we are only a few minutes away when disaster strikes. Whether you are looking for routine maintenance or are dealing with a plumbing emergency, our team will be there to help.

Call us at (46) 240-5618 or visit Dial1Plumbing.com to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.

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