Not only are leaky pipes a hassle, they can cause water damage to floors, ceilings, and other parts of your home that can be very expensive to fix. It is important to understand the most common causes of leaky pipes, so you can take steps to avoid them. If you are not comfortable with DIY repairs, hire an experienced plumber to diagnose and fix the problem. The money you save in the long run is well worth the initial expense.
- Bad Seals - Pipes are connected to each other with large ring nuts and washers. If these connections come loose, water seeps out at the sealing point. Leaks also occur if the nuts or washers crack or become corroded and need to be replaced.
- Temperature Changes - While people commonly believe that expanding ice causes pipes to burst or leak, it is in fact pressure in the pipes that causes the problem. The ice pushes water toward closed faucets, and this is the area in which the pressure builds and the pipes or fittings become damaged.
- Clogs - Clogs also put pressure on pipes that can cause leaks, which occur beyond the P-trap. The P-trap is the curved section under sinks that stops gases from rising up into your home. These clogs are caused by hair, grease, and other debris building up in the curve of the pipe. Clearing the clog yourself or hiring a professional, then re-tightening all connections should take care of the problem.
- High Water Pressure - We all love a great shower, but water pressure over 80 pounds per square inch can put too much pressure on pipes, causing loose fittings, cracks, or bursting. If you suspect high water pressure is causing a leak in your pipes, purchase a water pressure gauge and make sure the measurement reads less than 80 psi. These gauges are inexpensive and easy to use.