Water Leak Plumbing: Everything You Need to Know
- 15 - 04 - 2019
- By Heritage Plumbing
If you have noticed a leak or flooding in your basement, bathroom, kitchen or other parts of your home but cannot find the source of the problem, some major issue could be present. This requires the immediate attention of a professional plumber. In these instances, it is important to find a solution to the problem as quickly as possible. This not only reduces plumbing repair costs but it also reduces other major damage from taking place too.
If you have noticed a leak around your home or office but are having trouble figuring out the source of the problem, below are some possible causes that should be addressed to prevent further damage to your property.
Identifying Water Leaks
If you are certain that there is a water leak in your home or office, there are some things that you can do to confirm that there is in fact a leak.
The use of your water meter is one thing that can assist you with determining if there is a leak, along with some steps that can be taken to address it when possible. (Otherwise, you may be required to call in a professional plumber.)
Temporarily discontinue the use of water
First and foremost, turn off all water outlets in your home or office to make sure that no water will be used for at least 30 minutes; including water used for ice makers, water filters, fish tanks, coolers, etc.
Check the leak indicator on the water meter
There is a leak indicator that appears on your water meter. After all of the water and all of the outlets have been turned off, if the leak indicator is moving then that’s an indication that there is a leak. Make a record of the exact position of the water meter needle that appears on the dial along with the time. After waiting for at least 30 minutes up to approximately two hours, take another look at the position of the meter needle.
If you notice that the needle has moved then there is a water leak somewhere in your home or office. The leak may require the assistance of a professional plumber to address the issue further. It’s important to get a plumber out right away because if the leak is undetectable, the problem could potentially be greater.
Other signs that you likely have a leak
You may also notice signs of leakages behind your shower, under your kitchen sink, or from water that runs along the side of your bathtub. This is a common sign that you have a leak nearby. The leak could be due to something as simple as a washer that needs to be replaced or something major that requires the assistance of a professional plumber.
Leaks behind the walls of the shower
Leaks that take place behind the walls in the shower may be due to poor plumbing in general or it could also be due to a malfunctioning plumbing structure.
In any case, leaks behind walls in the shower could also cause the drywall or the tile to loosen or come off because they have been weakened by the water. This tends to take place near the shower head.
Leaks that appear under the sink
Leaks that appear under the kitchen or bathroom sink are a bit tricky. They can remain unnoticed for a substantial period of time, because the leak normally takes place in the rear of the cabinet, making it difficult to identify. However, it is normally evidenced when water runs down the pipes under the sink onto the floor. It can cause a bad smell as the base of the sink often starts to deteriorate and rot. The leak then works its way down to the frame and eventually to the floor. You may also notice that the tile on your floor starts to warp or become stained as well.
Leaks from the sides of your bathtub
If your bathtub is leaking water from the sides, it can result in major water damage to other areas such as the floor, or the ceiling if the bathroom is located on a 2nd story level. The exact location of the leak should be pinpointed to determine how it should be repaired. This can be challenging, but usually following the path of the leak is helpful, such as the path to any cracked or missing grout or caulking at the edge of the tub. A leaking tub typically requires the assistance of an expert, experienced plumber.
If you are experiencing leaks anywhere in your home or office, the next thing that needs to take place is to determine exactly where the leak is coming from and what could be causing it. This often is outside of the skill set of a home or business owner. A professional plumber such as Heritage Plumbing Group is equipped with the tools and equipment necessary to pinpoint exactly where the leak is located.
Typical Causes of the Most Common Water Leaks
The source of a leak could be from many areas, which could be on the inside or the outside of your home or office. However, some of the most common leaks come from the following as indicated below:
The most common types of leaks are leaks from a faucet. A leaky faucet in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room or basement are the most common issues in the home. Pipes connected to water hoses are one of the most common leaky faucets found outside of the home.
Leaky faucets are normally due to worn washers that need to be replaced. Overtime the rubber washers wear due to use and the pressure on it from the tap. If this issue is overlooked for a substantial period time, it could result in a lot of wasted water and often a high water bill.
Although a worn washer is normally what’s responsible for leaky faucets, sometimes it’s something that’s a lot more serious. Where the washes is not worn, contact one of our professional plumbers at Heritage Plumbing Group for assistance.
A leaky toilet is not as easy to detect as a leaky faucet. It is sometimes quieter and often gets ignored because of it. A leaky toilet is one way to waste several hundred gallons of water on an annual basis. It can be the cause of an exceptionally high water bill; and, sometimes you might not know about the issue.
A leaky toilet is relatively easy to repair, but the issue is pinpointing the exact source of the problem. This may require the assistance of a professional plumber to know for sure which part of the toilet has been compromised. Call us to learn how we can repair your leaky toilet.
There are a few things that could cause a toilet to leak. The most common causes include the following:
–The Overflow Tube – The overflow tube is what stops the tank from overflowing. However, if the water gets too high, it can create a leak.
–The Flapper – The flapper is what gets lifted when water needs to flow after the toilet is flushed. If the flapper becomes damaged or worn out, it can cause the toilet to leak.
–The Flush Handle – The flush handlebar, button or chain can cause your toilet to run for a long period of time (usually until someone jiggles the handle or button to reset the internal mechanism).
Having a leaky roof can be one of the most inconvenient types of leaks there are. It can be very damaging and worsen relatively quickly. Not only that, but the leakage from your roof could ruin the internal structure of your property and your furniture, carpet or other items in your home depending on where the leak is located.
In most cases, a roof begins to leak when it experiences normal wear and tear or if it has missing shingles. This causes the roof to become more exposed and susceptible to further damage; including additional water damage that could spread to other nearby parts of the roof.
The only good thing about a leaky roof is that it is easy to spot the source of the problem. The best way to identify that there’s a potential problem with your roof is the appearance of water stains that you may notice on the ceiling or on parts of the walls; typically a yellowish colour or where the paint has bubbled or peeled.
Like other leaks, a stained ceiling is only a sign of other problems that are soon to come if left unattended. A leaky roof can develop larger problems such as mould, soiled or rotted sheathing and framing. It can also destroy insulation, cause major damage to ceiling structures, lighting fixtures and more.
The cost to repair a leaky roof can be very expensive, which is why it’s highly recommended to address the issue at the first sign of a leak with a professional roof plumber from the Heritage Plumbing Group.
Uncommon Water Leaks
There are other places where leaks could occur, such as from pipes or even from wastewater, which is not as easy to identify. Since wastewater gets removed from gravity as opposed to pressure, it’s not easy to detect when or where this issue is occurring.
Leaks can also take place within your plumbing system, which could be located just about anywhere within the system. It could be located behind the walls, in the ceiling in two-storey homes, or underground.
But how can you tell if you have a leak in these areas? One indicator is if you notice water stains, discoloration on your woodwork, ceilings, floors or walls. Also, if you notice that your doors or other fixtures are warped or not closing properly, usually there’s a water leak happening nearby. If the water leak has caused these issues, it is time to contact a plumber to assist right away.
Many business or homeowners are led to believe that if they notice a small water stain that it’s not anything major or too concerning. However, what’s really happening is that when a small water stain is evident, a larger problem has already taken place somewhere in your property. That also means that it should be addressed right away. The damage that is taking place could be a much bigger problem than you realise and could have a damaging impact on other parts of your home or office.
Below is some information about what takes place behind the scenes when water stains have been spotted.
Damage to the Flooring
Whenever there’s a plumbing leak in your home or office, because of the law of gravity, the water typically finds its way to your floors in most all cases, which creates distortion. It may cause your floors to become discoloured, loose and/or warped. When this happens, it almost always creates an odour and permanent damage. This is a very serious state and requires a plumber to come out and perform an assessment of your floors to pinpoint the area of plumbing which has caused the damage.
Damages to the Walls
Walls can have a stain as a result of a leak in the tubes used for your plumbing system. Since they are located behind the walls, it can cause the dry walls to become moistened or damaged altogether, especially if there is a burst pipe involved.
Damages to Fixtures
Many people only associate damage from plumbing issues with pipes, drains, walls and floors. It can also cause damage to some of your fixtures as well. Leaks, pipes, and overall plumbing complications may ruin your fixtures too. These include fixtures such as your showerheads or your faucets. If your gasket becomes deteriorated it could become lodged inside of your plumbing lines. It could also potentially decrease your water pressure as well. If this issue is not resolved fast and in the proper manner, you may have to replace your entire plumbing line. This can be very costly depending on the size of the area.
In each of these cases, the longer you wait before calling a plumber, the greater the risk of more threatening damages and larger losses of water due to these leaks. That’s the time to contact Heritage Plumbing Group right away. We are experts at repairing leaks. We can come out and assess your plumbing issue and stop the leak without fuss.
The Development of Mold
Not only will leaks cause damage to the walls and floors as indicated above, but often the moisture in these areas cause mould to form and grow. Mould develops on moist surfaces and can have an impact on your health if left unattended. Once mould begins to grow, you will also need the services of a mould remediation expert to remove the mould along with a professional plumber.
A High Price to Pay for Ignoring Water Leaks
Leaks raise the water usage and can significantly increase your water bill. If you notice that your water bill is suddenly higher than it normally is for no noticeable reason, that may be a sign that you have a major leak. Leaks don’t stop automatically or self-repair. Ignoring leaks in your property will only cause the situation to worsen. If you notice signs that you may have a leak, you should give Heritage Plumbing Group a call for more assistance.
For uncommon, hard to reach leaks, you may want to save that for the professionals who are equipped with the right tools needed to assess and correct the issue.
Professional Plumbing Equipment
It’s important to work with plumbers that not only have the latest tools and equipment, but use the latest methods and techniques. Below is some equipment that savvy plumbers use to detect and repair hard to reach leaks.
1) Leak Detection Equipment– There are other ways to check for leaks and that’s by using professional leak detection equipment. It is used by professional plumbers to quickly identify where the source of the leak is coming from. With the use of new technology, a professional plumber can detect leaks even if it is behind a wall or under the ground. At Heritage Plumbing Group, we are able to perform this service with accuracy by using the latest listening devices such as ground microphones and listening discs that can detect leaks under concrete. How? With devices that contain acoustic amplifiers that are capable of amplifying sounds associated with plumbing leaks. These leaks would be too difficult to hear otherwise.
2) Video Inspection Equipment– Video inspection equipment is another method used to detect leaks with the use of plumbing cameras and other tools. These tools are an excellent way to pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from. This works well if the general location has already been identified. The equipment serves as a visual aid that makes it possible for plumbers to also perform an assessment of various ways to repair damages caused by leaks in hard to reach places.
Two of the most common types of video inspection tools include:
- Camera, and a
- Fiber Optic Cable
These tools can fit inside pipes that are made up of many sizes. It is also capable of sending feedback with the use of a monitor screen directly to the plumber.
To conclude, identifying a leak and determining the source of the problem is one of the most important steps that can be taken to reduce further damage and to reduce costs.
Some leaks are more apparent than others, which necessitates the use of a professional water leak plumber. If you suspect that you have a leak or need additional information, please feel free to contact one of our professional staff members by calling 03 9498 0458 or leave a comment in the comment section below.
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