One of the most challenging part of being a homeowner is damage control. Even if you have good insurance, your insurance premiums could go up substantially after one claim for significant water damage. However, small leaks can sometimes be the costliest of all. For example, left unfixed, a toilet leak can cost you about $150 per month or $1,800 per year. A small crack in a pipe can set you back $600 per month, or $7,200 per year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fixing household water leaks can save you 10 percent on your water bills.
A lot of household water leaks are easy to fix. But they can be hard to find. Sometimes, a tiny leak can exist for years without detection. Within that time, it can cause an incredible amount of damage to your house and surrounding structure.
Some water leaks are easier to spot than others. For instance, if your water bill suddenly goes up without explanation, you’ll know that there’s a good chance you have a leak. But you’ll still need to track down the source of your leak. Knowing the most common culprits behind household water leaks can help with that.
If you suspect you have a leak, these are the places that you’ll want to check first.
Water supply line leaks are pretty common. But, since the supply pipes are several feet underground, these leaks are hard to spot. However, you can often detect severe leaks from the sight of water coming to the surface, just above the pipe. Also, water supply line leaks can often reveal themselves by causing the surrounding soil to be constantly damp. On occasion, the leaking water will flow the length of the pipe and back to the meter box. So, if you see unexplained water in the meter box, it could be evidence of a leaking water supply line.
If you don’t know, a water softener is an infiltration system that solves hard water problems by removing high levels of magnesium and calcium from your water. Unfortunately, almost 85 percent of the U.S. is hard water territory, making it very likely you live in a hard water state. Most water softener leaks result from a broken rotor valve, loose water line connections, or a busted bypass valve assembly. The good news is you can quickly replace the damaged parts and efficiently solve the waterline problem by tightening the fitting.
Despite being one of the world’s most common household water leaks, toilet leaks are one of the most covert. As a result, you can lose quite a bit of money before discovering the leak. One tip-off is a weak flush, or if the tank’s water level is more than an inch below the top of the overflow tube.
However, a sure-fire way of detecting a leaking toilet is to put several drops of a food coloring dye in the rear of the tank. If the color is present in the toilet bowl after 10 or 15 minutes, you have a leak. Once you have discovered the leak, you can quickly fix it by replacing the toilet flapper or the flipping kit.
Dripping faucets and leaking showerheads are the most common sources of household water leaks. Since they are usually visible and easy to repair, these leaks are not a significant concern, provided you don’t waste money by overlooking them. Fixing them is typically a simple do-it-yourself project. When bathtubs leak, the problem is usually a loose drain tap piping that causes the water to drip in the space under it.
Fortunately, there are proactive ways you can keep water leaks from robbing you blind. Since leaky pipes can potentially cause the most damage, a routine check of all your piping can prevent costly water loss and damage. Make sure to replace any rusting or weak pipes. If you live in a region with freezing winters, check your lines more often and keep water running through them during cold spells.
You can potentially detect a leak by periodically checking your water meter to see whether you are receiving more water than you use. Also, in case you discover significant water damage, you should have a connection with a reputable water damage restoration company like Emrick Services. They provide cleanup, repair, mitigation, remediation, or restoration. However, you will need to request to work with Emrick through your insurance company.
Being able to spot the four most common causes of water leaks and taking action to prevent any problems with them can save you a lot of money and grief. All it takes is a little initiative and some preparation. If you have any questions, contact us today.