There is nothing fun about leaking pipes

Nobody wants a leaking pipe in their home! Not only can leaky pipes waste precious water, but it can also cause major damages to your walls, floors, ceilings, and to the furnishings in your home. Leaking water can also lead to problems such as damp, and mould/mildew growth which could lead to health problems. Since we cannot see all the pipes in our homes, it is important to know the causes of leaking pipes to allow you to identify a leak early on, which could save a lot of money in the long run. We have identified the 10 most common causes of leaky pipes below;

1. Broken/Damaged Seals

When we think of plumbing leaks, we generally think of leaking metal pipes. However, one of the most common causes of a leaking pipe is a deteriorated rubber seal. These seals are an important part of your plumbing system as they connect your pipes to the fixtures and appliances in your home. Over time, these plumbing seals wear out, become loose, or even break. When this happens you will find condensation or even puddles around your fixtures such as your sink/basin or appliances such as a dishwasher. 

2. Clogged Pipes and Drains

We all hate a blocked pipe/drain! It is a hassle and can even cause health problems from the bacteria and fungus breeding in your blocked drainage pipes. Apart from this, a clog in a drainage pipe causes water to back up behind it. This high water pressure could lead to leaky pipes. Eventually if left unattended, a clogged pipe could cause the pipe to burst. The other danger that can arise from an unattended clog in a pipe is that corrosive cleaning chemicals and toxic substances can eat through your pipe, speeding up the damage to the pipe. It is always best to deal with backed-up and clogged plumbing pipes as soon as possible before more serious repairs are needed.

Blocked Drain | Absolute Plumbing Cape Town

3. Pipe Corrosion

Rust and corrosion are the two main enemies of your plumbing system. The rusting of your water pipes is inevitable. Discolouration of the water in your home is a sign that there may be rust within your water pipes, which causes the deterioration of the water quality in your homes. If you notice warping on the visible parts of your water pipes this may be caused by corrosion within your water pipes. Corrosion is caused by imbalances in the mineral content and the PH balance of the water flowing through the pipes. Corrosion causes the pipe to weaken, develop holes in it and eventually crumble. If you suspect that your leaky pipes may be corroding or rusting, contact Pipe Relining Cape Town to have your pipe professionally inspected and repaired.

Corroded Pipes | Absolute Plumbing Cape Town

4. Incorrect plumbing system installation

The plumbing systems in new homes (or renovated homes) should only ever be installed by experienced and qualified professional plumbers. Laying the pipes in your home incorrectly can lead to HUGE problems in the future and are best avoided by using professional plumbers such as Absolute Plumbing Cape Town to install your plumbing system. If you suspect that your existing plumbing system has been installed incorrectly, the only way to avoid expensive future disasters and repairs is to have your plumbing system thoroughly examined and professionally repaired by experienced plumbers. 

Plumbing Fittings | Absolute Plumbing Cape Town

5. Damaged/Worn Pipe Joints

The straight sections of the water pipes in your homes are linked together by curved pipe joints. These joints are the most vulnerable parts of your plumbing system and are prone to deterioration due to excessive water pressure, rust, and extreme temperatures. Since most of the joints in your home’s plumbing system are hidden from the naked eye, the best way to detect problems with the joints is to listen out for and notice odd noises coming from the pipes within your walls. Clanging, creaking, and banging noises indicate problems with your pipe joints and should be dealt with in order to avoid future leaks.

6. Underground Movements

Shifts in the foundation beneath your home, caused by the ground settling, an earthquake, erosion, tree root growth, or flooding could cause the pipes in your home’s plumbing system to shift. As this shifting occurs, the pipes could shift, twist, bend, crack or even separate from each other, causing hard-to-reach leaks. If you notice problems with your water pressure, water colour, or water supply into your home, you may find that underground movements have affected your plumbing system. You will need to call in professionals to inspect and repair any damage that may be there before it becomes a bigger, more expensive repair. 

Leaky Pipes

7. High Water Pressure

We all know how good it feels to have high water pressure in the shower. However, overly high water pressure could be leading to problems within your plumbing system. The harder the water hits the inside of your pipes, the more your pipes are being damaged. Over time, this abnormally high water pressure could lead to leaky pipes and can even cause the pipe to burst. If you have noticed leaks around where your washing machine and dishwasher join your pipes, you may have abnormally high water pressure. This will have to be checked by a plumber who will check your water pressure and make any necessary adjustments before it’s too late.

Leaky Pipes

8. Intruding Tree Roots

If you notice water puddles (but it hasn’t rained) or sinkholes outside your home, check for trees growing close to your house. It may be that the roots growing under and through your property may have infiltrated your pipes, and caused damage such as cracks or breaks in the pipes or even blockages. Another sign that tree roots have infiltrated your pipes is a sudden loss in water pressure, as the water coming into your property is leaking into the ground around the pipe. A professional plumber will be able to inspect your pipes for tree roots and make a recommendation. In circumstances like these, you may very well need to have your pipes relined. Chat to our pipe relining experts if you suspect that this may be the cause of the problem.

Leaky Pipes

9. Loose Water Connectors

If you notice water puddles forming around your dishwasher or washing machine, your hoses and pipes that are connected to your appliances may have come loose. This may have happened by the shifting and moving of your appliances as they are running.  You may be able to tighten the connections yourself, if not you will need to call in a plumber.

Leaky Pipes

10. Fixture Cracks

If you notice a leak around your basin or sink, it may be that your faucet is leaking or that the pipes that connect it may be cracked. Unfortunately, faucets can be damaged through impact, and the leaks may not even be visible. Remember to check under your basins and sinks to check if the pipes hidden under there have been damaged by items being forced into the cupboard. If you notice damage to a fixture or the surrounding pipes, call a plumber to check for leaky pipes sooner rather than later. 

Leaky Pipes

In summary

Whether you are a property owner or a tenant, paying attention to the way that your plumbing system performs, is of the utmost importance. Dealing with plumbing problems as soon as you notice them will prevent future hassles that have become worse than they should have been. If you notice that your water bill has suddenly spiked, there are water puddles in strange places, there’s a musty smell around your drain or a sudden change in water pressure you may very well have a leak somewhere on your property. Our expert plumbers at Absolute Plumbing Cape Town strongly suggest conducting a thorough inspection of your plumbing system. Remember, dripping pipes can waste thousands of litres of precious water.

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