Nothing can be as scary to a homeowner as discovering a plumbing leak in your house. With damage and repair bills that can run into the thousands, it’s no wonder many people freak out when they find a leak.
But arming yourself with some plumbing knowledge can save yourself the hassle and unwanted bills.
Let’s look at 10 important facts you should know about plumbing leaks that could save you time, money, and headaches.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill
Many times, you don’t even need to lay eyes on a water puddle or damaged ceiling to know you have a leak. All you have to do is keep track of your water bill statement.
If your bill starts to run higher than normal, it may signal you have a hidden leak somewhere.
Check with the water company first. Make sure you don’t have a faulty water meter. But if that checks out ok, it may be time to call in a plumber to investigate.
2. Know Where to Find the Shut off Values
Knowing where to shut off the water supply to your house is an important thing to know in the event of an emergency.
Most houses will have a main shut off valve. Many appliances will also have shut off valves close by to shut the water off for that area.
Educate yourself on the locations of each. In the event of a major leak, that is not the time to run around trying to find a way to turn the water off. Each second that passes could cost you more money in damage repairs and wasted water.
3. Check Your Water Pressure
Pipes that have water running through at too high of pressure are at risk of developing leaks. That’s why it’s so important to have the pressure checked to make sure it’s within normal range.
The pressure in your pipes should be under 80 psi. You can check this yourself with a DIY pressure gauge or you can call in a professional to check it for you.
To adjust the water pressure, locate the water pressure regulator in your home. You’ll turn the screw one way to increase pressure and the other way to decrease it. It’s a simple way to protect yourself against leaks.
4. Small Drips Can Add up Big
A dripping faucet may seem like no big deal. Especially if it’s a slow drip. However, those drips can add up on your water bill before you know it.
Due to leaking faucets alone, 180 gallons of water go to waste every month. While 2160 gallons go to waste each year.
Save yourself the money and have any drips and leaks repaired as soon as you spot them.
5. You Can Buy a Gadget to Help
Now you don’t have to go about detecting leaks all on your own. There are devices you can buy called Water Leak Detectors. They can alert you to any possible problems.
It works through sensor detectors you set up in your home. When water is detected, it will wirelessly send a signal to an app on your smartphone, alerting you to the problem.
By knowing there’s a leak before the water damage becomes too widespread means huge savings in your budget.
6. Check the Pressure Release Values
If you’re noticing that your water bill is higher than usual, and you can’t figure out why, be sure to check your hot water heater’s pressure release valve.
As the water in the tank heats up, it also builds up the pressure. The valve is there to release this pressure from within the tank.
But if the valve starts to leak, it can send water right down into a drain it’s connected to. And when that happens, the only real damage you’ll see to alert to the problem is a higher water bill.
7. Pay Attention to Hot Spots
A heated floor can be a real luxury. But if it’s not designed to be a heated floor, it can be an unwelcome sign of a hot water leak.
If you discover a section of your home’s floor is warmer than usual, it’s time to do some investigating. You could have a hot water pipe underneath that has developed a leak.
And if you don’t feel comfortable looking into this yourself, you can always call in plumbing services to help.
8. The Toilet Is a Common Culprit
One of the most common sources of leaks in a home is the toilet. There are so many working parts involved that can go bad. That’s why it’s one of the first items in a home that you should inspect when searching for a leak source.
If there is a toilet leak that goes undetected for too long, it can waste 15 gallons of water daily, which is 5475 gallons a year.
9. Wrap Your Pipes in Heat
Frozen pipes are one of the main causes of leaks or busted pipes in the winter time. Especially when pipes run through exterior walls or through cement foundations.
If the temperatures in the pipes drop below freezing, the water running through will freeze up and expand, causing the pipes to break open.
To prevent this, insulate pipes as much as possible. Open cabinets doors at night to allow warm air to circulate under sinks. You can even let your faucets drip at night to keep a steady flow of water moving through them.
10. Regular Visual Inspections Can Save You Money
As part of your home’s care, establish a regular inspection of visible pipes throughout your house. This can help with early detection of small leaks or issues that could turn into leaks if not addressed.
Inspect the pipes under the sink. Look at pipes running through your basement and outside your home. Search for anything that looks out of the ordinary.
You don’t have to be a plumbing expert to know that rusted pipes, buckling pipes, or visible signs of water are warning signs of problems ahead.
Show That Plumbing Leak Who’s Boss
When you arm yourself with facts, a plumbing leak won’t seem so scary. You’ll be able to meet it head on and show it who’s boss.
Now that you know how to tackle basic leak problems, it’s time to buy that dream home. Click here to discover 5 home loans you need to consider.