Brooks Plumbing Co. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Plumbing Leaks’

Signs of a Leak in Your Plumbing

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Plumbing leaks can stem from a variety of causes, but unless they involve something very obvious – such as water spreading across your kitchen floor or a lack of water pressure when you turn on the faucet – the chances of your being able to detect it are fairly small unless you know what to look for. Quiet drips and pinhole leaks can go undetected for years, and with the amount of rainfall we get in Olympia, WA, stray outdoor water is apt to get overlooked. Luckily, an astute homeowner can still pick up on signs of a leak in their plumbing, then summon a qualified service professional to take care of the job. Here’s a brief list of some of the things to watch for.

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Why Small Leaks Matter

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

A lot of people think that plumbing leaks are only worthy of professional attention if they’re very large. As though if a pipe isn’t threatening to rupture and flood your house, it isn’t worth calling a plumber over. In reality, the most dangerous leaks are often the smallest. Let’s examine these tiny leaks, and why they have the potential to actually become the bane of your existence if you ignore them.

Pinhole Leaks

The most common kind of small leak is called the “pinhole leak.” These leaks exclusively affect copper pipes, which also happen to be by far the most common pipes in American homes. Pinhole leaks are caused by pitted corrosion, which is where the pipe degrades from the outside in. No one really knows what causes pitted corrosion, though the EPA has been trying to figure it out for years. Eventually, an opening no bigger than a pinhole opens and begins leaking water, one drop at a time.

What’s the Big Deal?

Leaking one drop at a time may not seem like that big of a deal, in the same way that a dripping faucet may not seem like a big deal. However, those drops really add up over time. A dripping faucet can actually waste over a thousand gallons of water over the course of a year. A pinhole leak can waste that much water pretty easily, but it’s actually much worse.

Pinhole leaks tend to affect areas that are out of sight, which means they’re very likely to go unnoticed for a long time. The leak is not large enough to cause a drop in water pressure, and because of the pitted corrosion that causes it there won’t be any rust in the water to tip off the homeowner. So, pinhole leaks can go without being noticed for a very long time, wasting thousands of gallons of water without you even noticing.

The other issue is that pinhole leaks tend to occur in areas surrounded by things like insulation and support beams. The slow drip of water can cause these things to rot away over time, damaging the wall or ceiling in which the pipe is located and causing much more expensive repairs.

The best way to combat pinhole leaks is to have your plumbing frequently checked. If you haven’t had your home’s plumbing checked this year, call Brooks Plumbing. Our expert plumbers cover the whole Turnwater area.

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Plumbing Question: How Do I Know if I Have a Leak in My Plumbing System?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Some leaks in your Lacey home’s plumbing are quite obvious, especially if they occur very near the fixture. For instance, if the pipe leading from your kitchen sink drain is leaking, you’ll quickly see water spilling out onto the floor. But because your pipes crisscross your home mostly out of sight, there is always the possibility that a leak will develop in a less-obvious and accessible area.

In fact, it’s often hard to know you have a leak at all, but there are a few tell-tale signs to watch for that can indicate a problem in your plumbing system. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to call a Lacey plumber immediately to find the source of the problem and minimize the damage from the leak. These signs include:

  • Lower Water Pressure – Of course, your home may naturally have low water pressure. But any sudden reduction in the pressure of the water coming from taps in your entire home or just in one area indicates a problem somewhere along the line. Even if you see no other outward signs of a leak, be sure to get professional attention right away.
  • Higher Water Bills – If you notice that your water bill has increased without a corresponding increase in your water usage, there’s a good chance that extra water you’re paying for is leaking out of a pipe somewhere.
  • Dampness and Unexplained Puddles – Dampness in any area of your home can indicate a leak as well. And a leak in the main water line leading into your home can often cause puddles to develop in your yard even when it hasn’t rained. If you notice this type of pooling, or if any of your walls or floors feel damp, you should suspect a leak and call a professional promptly.

For any plumbing repairs in the Lacey area, give Brooks Plumbing Co. a call!

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