What Causes Plumbing Leaks?

Person trying to fix a leaking pipe

Finding the Problem So We Can Find a Solution

Having leaks in your home’s plumbing is not an uncommon occurrence, but it is always important to be able to identify when it happens so you can act quickly to correct it. It is less common for leaks to occur because of some catastrophic failure in your system than it is to simply be due to normal wear and tear. However, the more adept you are at correctly identifying the signs of leaks and determining how they started, the more able you will be to avoid those same problems down the line.

Common Causes of Leaks

Your pipes are under constant, intense pressure, so the question is not if it will leak, but when and why.

There are several things that can factor into a failure somewhere along a pipe, including:

  • Clogs: Though clogs are exceedingly common and generally seem annoying but harmless, these blockages can actually cause significant problems in your plumbing. The pressure backup caused by the clog can cause problems throughout the system and even weaken pipe walls or joints.

  • Broken seals: It makes sense that the parts of pipes where they are joined to other pipes, fixtures, or appliances would likely be the weakest part of the pipe. Over time, the parts where these pieces join can wear down and result in a leak.

  • Corrosion: Depending on the materials the pipe is made out of, it may be particularly susceptible to corrosion. Little by little, the pressure and the corrosion can result in wearing down the sides of the pipe until a leak forms. It is also worth noting that the use of store-bought chemical drain cleaners is notoriously dangerous (not to mention ineffective) and is likely to hasten the effects of corrosion on your pipes.

What Do I Need to Know About Leak Prevention?

Keeping leaks to a minimum is actually pretty simple – you just want to make sure you’re taking good care of your plumbing system and getting the routine maintenance and inspections it requires. One of the main things to remember is, as we said earlier, never to use chemical drain cleaners on your pipes. The risk for damage is simply too great, and it is dangerous to you and your family anyway.

You should also be certain that you are not putting anything in your pipes that do not belong there. Sinks and tubs can benefit from something like a strainer or hair catcher, which minimizes problems from those fixtures, and homeowners should be careful not to put things like hot oil into the garbage disposal. Being sure that you are not flushing excessive toilet paper or foreign objects down the toilet can also be a huge help.

My Plumbing Has a Leak – Now What?

You may be fortunate enough to find that the issue is simply a loose fitting, which your plumber could fix quickly – you may even feel comfortable enough to handle it on your own. However, if the answer is not as obvious, it is extremely important to bring in a team of experts. They can help you to identify the precise issue, resolve it, and give you pointers on how to avoid those types of issues in the future.

To find out how our team at Pacific Plumbing of Southern California can help, give us a call at (714) 699-9936 today!

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