Your Ultimate Guide To Water Leak Repairs
When there is a leak...
Water leaks are very common among households more than people think. Leaky toilets, supply line leaks, and underground irrigation leaks are some of the most common types of leaks people experience. Such leaks often cause massive water wastage and a hike in the monthly water bills. Unfortunately, many leaks aren’t easily noticed and therefore go undetected until they cause extensive damage. Leaks are not easily detectable, especially if they are hidden leaks. They will need a comprehensive approach from an experienced plumber. How do you find a hidden plumbing leak?
Find A Hidden Plumbing Leak
No matter how diligent you are and strive to use water responsibly, a few hidden leaks can still result into wastage. It is important to look for hidden plumbing leaks early enough so you can undertake repairs. The following signs can help you look for hidden plumbing leaks;
- By following water droplets: Always be on the lookout for water droplets on the floor below plumbing systems. This is often an indicator of a leak that hasn’t been detected yet.
- Growth of mold or mildew: Mold is known for thriving in damp dark places. A hidden plumbing leak will provide plenty of moisture for the growth of mold on your walls, floors and water pipes. If you notice mold growing around the house, clean them off and see if there’s a leakage.
- Damaged paint and wallpapers: Water leaks will cause your wallpapers and paint to peel off. The adhesive that binds the paint to the wall loses its stickiness and it comes loose.
- Warped or stained walls and ceilings: Moisture makes dry walls to become soft and bubble. If the leak has been going on for a while, the wall is likely to be stained too. If the plumbing system is on the ceiling, then always be lookout for stained or warped ceilings.
- Damaaged floors: If your plumbing system is underground, then cracked, buckled or stained floors may be a sign of a hidden leak.
- Unusual smell around the house: If you notice a musty or an unusual smell around the house even after cleaning, then it is probably from a hidden plumbing leak. Since most hidden leaks don’t dry up, they develop a smell over time.
- Soggy yard: Leaks on the external plumbing systems is most likely to result in a soggy or drenched yard.
Hidden plumbing leaks are most likely to occur in the following places- damaged pipes and joints, water heaters, washing machines, central air conditioning units, and sprinkler systems. It is always important to monitor your water bills. An increase in the bill without an increase in usage points to a hidden leakage.
PVC Pipe Leak Repair
If you discover a hidden leak in your PVC pipe, you can simply do the repairs yourself without calling in a plumber. You will need a screw driver, pocket knife, disposable gloves, hacksaw, pliers, C-clamp, and a Fiberglass-tape repair kit. Ensure that the surface is dried up before starting repairs to avoid slip-ups. Follow the steps below to repair a leaking PVC pipe;
- Cut off the water supply from the main shutoff valve. It is difficult to undertake repairs if the water is still leaking. Ensure you have taken note of all the points that are leaking before shutting the water off.
- Drain the water that is remaining inside the PVC pipe by running the taps. It will be much easier to focus on the job if there is no water getting in your way.
- Tie a piece of rubber on the leak and placethe C-clamp on the point. You can use a screw driver to adjust the tightness of the C-clamp.
- Wrap the fiberglass tape around the leaking point and let it stay for upto 10 minutes before turning the water back on.
Remember to wear protective gloves when doing the repairs as PVC glue is acidic and can burn the skin. If the leak is extensive and needs to be cut off, engage the services of professional plumber.
How To Fix A Leaking Pipe Joint
Pipe joints are pretty much easy to fix. All you need is to seal the points the leaking joints without necessarily doing any replacement. Tightening the joint can stop the leak. However, tightening one end of a threaded pipe usually loosens the other end. You can either use patch kits or seal the leaking joint with a waterproof tape.
Patch kits are easily available in local hardwares. Alternatively, you can make your own patch at home from heavy rubber and pair it with a C-clamp. If the pipe is still in a good condition, then the patch will last for a long time.
Waterproof tapes can also fix a leaking pipe joint. All you have to do is to wrap the tape around the joint. Dry off the leak completely before wrapping the tape around the joint. Extend the wrap to about 3 inches from the joint to completely cover the leak.
If the pipe and the joints are corroded or worn out, then it is better to just engage a plumber to replace them.
Underground leaks may be quite difficult to fix by yourself. Such a water leak repair may require the services of an expert plumber. You may also have to call the local utility companies to find if there are any other underground gas lines, electricity wires or cables in the area you intend to dig out. This will help prevent a bigger disaster when you cut open an underground electricity cable or gas pipe. Find out from the local authority if any licensing is needed for you to be allowed to take underground repairs. Since underground pipes can go for long without any maintenance, prepare yourself for a rude shock. The leak may be worse than you originally thought. That’s why it’s best to leave the water leak repair to an expert.
If you need to call up a professional to take a look at your undeground leak, we are available around the clock. We are an emergency plumbing service and guarantee a lasting solution to your water leak problems. You will no longer have to incur bills for water you are not using. Undetected water leaks can cause extensive damage to your property. Reach out to us for regular inspection of your plumbing systems and maintenance services. No matter what time you call, we are always ready to give you a listening ear and provide affordable plumbing services for you.
Potential Costs of a Plumbing Leak
It is estimated that the world loses approximately 45 billion litres of water every day to leakages. Besides the fact that this could solve the water problem in arid and semi-arid areas, these leakages results in loss of massive loss of revenue for water companies. Water utility companies lose up to 30% of their revenue to leaks, according to a report on Forbes.
Plumbing leaks, especially if they go for long without being attended to, can leave a massive dent in your pockets. Besides spending on the water leak repair, you will also spend some money in undoing the damage done by the leak.
First, pipes that run behind the walls can damage them in the event of a leak. On the minimum, the walls will grow mold and you will have to spend on mold remediation and repainting of the walls. Mold remediation costs $500 on the minimum. On the worst, a water leak can bring down an entire wall and you will have to budget for a rebuilding.
Leaks can also damage your flooring. The floor can become discolored or warped. Floor tiles may loosen. This can even cause accidents to people. While tiles may be cheap to replace, it may cost more if the leak affected the subfloor too. Hardwoord floors can cost up to $30 per square foot.
Fixtures such as taps and shower heads may fail to work if the leak affects the water pressure. If they go for a long time without being put to use, they could corrode or become rusty and you will have to spend on replacements.
If you factor in the increase in your water bills, then you will find the cost of a leak too big a burden to carry. It is even worse that you will be paying for water you are not using. The money could be put to better use around the house.
To avoid spending so much on water leak repair, it is advisable to always watch out for potential leaks and engage a plumber before they cause damages. A professional plumber will be able to assess the extent of the leak and advise accordingly on repairs. It is better to spend on maintenance than on repairs. Detecting a leak in good time can save a lot of costs. Even if repairs have to be done, the cost won’t be as much. Give us a call today and avoid unnecessary spending on plumbing leaks. No need to wait until it’s too late.