4 Common Household Leaks—and How to Avoid Them
The sound of dripping water is enough to keep any homeowner up at night—but it’s far more than just a nuisance. A leak, anywhere in your home, can prove a major drain on the wallet, adding up to huge waste in your water bill. What’s more, it can cause immense property damage. All told, leaks are something you want to avoid as best as possible!
And believe it or not, avoiding leaks is something you can do. No, not every leak is preventable, and every homeowner is going to encounter a plumbing problem sooner or later. With that said, there are a few places where leaks are especially common, and some strategies to help safeguard against these leaks.
Washing Machine Leaks
When it comes to water leaks, there’s no appliance more dangerous than your washer. This is all the more true because so few laundry rooms are equipped with the drains needed to deal with a serious water leak. However, there are some steps you can take to keep leaks from happening:
- Replace any plastic or rubber hoses with steel braided hoses.
- Check hose connections and tighten any that feel loose.
- Turn off the water supply to the washing machine if you leave the home for an extended period of time.
In older homes, slow toilet leaks are common; in newer homes, sudden toilet failures abound. Regardless, it pays to keep an eye on your household toilets to make sure they’re functioning as they’re supposed to. Some tips:
- Should a clog occur, take the lid off the tank to close the flapper before it overflows the bowl.
- Replace gate values on the supply line with ball valves, which will reduce the risk of leaks.
The kitchen is the focal point of most homes, and as such, it comes as no surprise that it is also an area where leaks are common. Dishwashers and refrigerators can both start leaking, causing damage to your floors and surrounding furniture. Some tips to avoid these leaks include:
- It’s smart to routinely check under the sink, where the hose connects to the water supply, to make sure the dishwasher isn’t leaking.
- Also look around the dishwasher for physical evidence of a leak—carpet, flooring, or cabinetry that’s warped or discolored, for example.
- It’s likewise smart to clean out behind the fridge once a year or so, inspecting hose and pipe connections as you do so.
Household Plumbing System Leaks
Some of the most daunting leaks are the ones that come from the pipes running throughout, and usually under, your house. High water pressure will strain the system over time, and cold weather can further weaken pipes. Damages from leaky pipes can prove massively expensive to repair, so it’s good to do whatever you can to avert this problem:
- Watch out for warning signs, such as water spots on ceilings and floors, unusually high water bills, and the sound of pipes “banging” as they are turned on or off.
- Have a water pressure regulator installed to keep the water pressure level safe and reasonable.
- Ensure that any pipes exposed to the elements are insulated to prevent freezing.
A leak in your house is more than just a nuisance. Do whatever it takes to avoid this potentially catastrophic problem—and call Unclog.it should you need any additional assistance.