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A Homeowner's Guide to Plumbing Leaks

Being a homeowner should be considered a full-time job in itself. From making sure that your bills are paid on time to cleaning every square inch of your humble abode weekly, the list goes on and on. However, one task seems to be overlooked until a problem occurs — plumbing leak prevention.

Just like a clogged drain, a plumbing leak can happen when you least expect it — typically at the most random time (i.e., in the middle of the night) — but the chances of having one can be lessened if the correct preventative measures are taken. Before jumping into action, you must know how plumbing leaks can form in the first place.

Common Ways Plumbing Leaks Appear

Often, leaks come as a surprise — especially when your plumbing fixtures seem to be operating correctly. But that’s just it: sometimes, you won’t even know you have one on your hands until it’s too late. Here are a few different scenarios in which a plumbing leak can form:

Clogged Drain

Believe it or not, ignoring a clogged drain can do more harm than good. As it turns out, there’s a chance that the item that created the initial blockage in the pipe could contain corrosive chemicals and may gradually eat through the pipe — causing the leak to form.

Another scenario to keep top-of-mind is that if a plumbing pipe is brittle, and the obstruction is applying pressure to the pipe, there’s a chance that the “highway for water” can burst when you least expect it.

Pipe Corrosion

If you’ve encountered a plumbing clog in the past, chances are you may have used a chemical drain cleaner to help remove the blockage. While this “quick fix” can help provide the desired results you’re looking for, it can also hurt your plumbing altogether.

As it turns out, chemical drain cleaners contain an array of harmful chemicals that will not only eat away at what has formed the clog but are also harmful to inhale and are fatal if ingested. Another thing to consider is that a drain cleaner will even begin to corrode the pipe itself — eventually leading to the worst-case scenario: a pipe burst.

How to Tell If Your Home Has a Leak

Sometimes, you may not know your home has a leak until it’s too late — which is never a good thing since late detection could cause irreparable damage. If you’re not examining your home’s plumbing system every often, there are a few signs to be aware of if a leak is present.

Higher Water Bills

When paying your monthly H2O bills, you may notice a gradual increase here and there — nothing extreme, unless you’ve consciously used more water than usual. However, if you see that your plumbing habits have remained the same, but your water bill continues to increase without rhyme or reason, this may indicate that you have a plumbing leak on your hands.

Bright Green Patches of Grass

Typically, a lawn bears vibrant hues of green depending on how well it is taken care of. However, if you notice that there are patches of abnormally green grass, that’s not necessarily a good thing (no fertilizer works that well).

As it turns out, this can indicate that you have a sewer line leak on your hands. This happens because any waste that is diverted from “the trail” (sewer line) will nurture the soil and provide it with an abundance of nutrients to thrive — all the while causing damage to your yard.

A sewer line leak can often be the result of a stubborn clog (that was not resolved), continued use of chemical drain cleaners, or tree roots that grew directly into the line and broke it.

How to Lessen the Chance of a Plumbing Leak

While you can’t exactly stop plumbing leaks from happening altogether, you can take preventative measures to lessen the chance of one forming on your property. Here are a few ways you can make that happen:

Schedule a Professional Drain or Sewer Cleaning

If you think you’re on the verge of a plumbing clog, or you’re beginning to experience the early signs of one, consider having your drain or sewer cleaned by a team of professionals.

Completed in the safest way possible, your cleaning expert will help wipe away any debris that may be forming on the drainpipe or sewer line to lessen the potential of developing a clog down the road.

Additionally, even if your plumbing seems to be in tip-top shape, still consider scheduling a cleaning — since this can help prevent the possibility of a clog-created leak in the future.

Inspect Your Home’s Plumbing More Often

As mentioned earlier, while it may seem as if your home’s plumbing is functioning correctly, there’s always a chance that a hidden discrepancy — such as a leak — could be forming (or is already present). To stay more in-tune with your plumbing status, make it a habit to inspect it more often.

Checking your home’s plumbing frequently can help you pinpoint any potential problems early-on — that way, you can have them repaired by a professional as soon as possible.

Another perk about inspecting your home’s “vitals” more often is that if you suspect there’s a leak on your property but you cannot locate it, you can schedule a professional leak detection service to get to the root of the problem.

Philadelphia’s Go-To Drain & Sewer Business

As professional drain and sewer contractors, we offer various options for drain and sewer needs. We’re also equipped with all the cutting-edge tools and technology your home or business needs, from high-powered jetting to trenchless piping to camera inspections.

If you run into a problem with your drain, give your friends at TLC Drain & Sewer a call at (215) 910-4105!