We all know leaky pipes can run up water costs and damage your home. But how common are they? And what are the biggest trouble spots you need to keep an eye on? It turns out, some leaks are more common than others—and all of them can be stopped before they cause major damage if you catch them early enough.
Here are the 5 most common leaks and water-wasters we find in people’s homes.
#1 Leaks Around Drains
We tend to think of bathtubs as being water-tight—it’s the pipes that are the problem, right?
Well, not exactly. The drain leading out of a tub or shower is a weak spot, and while it may start off water-tight, it can leak over time. Likewise, the very first section of pipe just below the drain is a common source of leakage. As these leaks get worse, they can cause major damage.
Luckily, they’re easy to spot. One sure sign is any kind of discoloration or water damage on the ceiling below the tub. Other times, the signs are more subtle: take a look at flooring around the edge of the tub or shower for any signs of tiles or sheet flooring coming up. If you see signs of a leak, get a plumber fast.
#2 Water Heater
If you have a traditional water heater that uses a tank, you might want to inspect it occasionally for signs of a leak. These systems not only contain large amounts of water 24/7, they also go through regular temperature shifts—a perfect recipe for a decaying seal.
The most likely trouble spot is the pressure relief valve on the tank itself. You can listen for hissing, and you can also rub a small amount of flour on the tank below and around the valve—check back the next day for any signs of water running through the flour.
#3 Dripping Faucets
We seldom think of a dripping faucet as a “leak,” but that’s what it is—water getting out when it shouldn’t, and being wasted. While leaky faucets are unlikely to cause damage, they are the single biggest source of water waste in most homes.
Usually, they can be fixed by changing the washer underneath the handle, although sometimes there are other causes as well. If you’re handy, you may be able to do this on your own; otherwise, it’s a quick an inexpensive fix as part of a maintenance call by a plumber.
Dishwashers are complex. In fact, they may be the most complex plumbing device in your home. And you should never see water puddling under or around your dishwasher. The source of the problem could be a leaky hose, bad seal, or a drain issue, among others, but it needs to be repaired fast—dishwashers have a tendency to get worse quickly, and they out out a lot more water in one cycle than you might expect.
#5 The Toilet
Toilets present a double threat: a running toilet wastes water even faster than a leaky faucet, and if the toilet itself is leaking, it can destroy woodwork, flooring, or the ceiling below in a hurry. That’s why it’s important to respond quickly to any toilet issue that comes up—including repeated clogging.
If your toilet runs, it could be the flapper valve, the fill tube or the float inside the tank. This can be DIY or you can have a professional fix it. If you see puddles spreading from the toilet itself, however—or even a tiny amount of drippage—you need to act fast. Get a plumber on the job and protect your home.
We Make Leaks Go Away for Good
These are hardly the only sources of leaks or water waste in the home, but they are among the most common. No matter what kind of leak you have, remember: they start off small but they only get more serious. Generally, the earlier you address a leak, the less expensive it is to fix it and the less damage it will cause.
Need help? The pros at Plumbing by Jake can inspect your pipes and fixtures, isolate the cause of a leak, and fix it for good. We back every job with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Call us at 928-377-5910 or fill out the form to your right and get your leaks stopped today.