Leaking Pipes and Fixtures




Dealing With Plumbing Leaks

Of all the problems that can occur in your plumbing system, none have the potential to be as costly as a good, old fashioned leak. Big or little, fast or slow, leaks cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

Plumbing leaks come in two varieties, water supply leaks and drain leaks. Although water supply leaks can do more damage faster, a leak of any kind should not be ignored. Just look at the Grand Canyon to see what water can do.

Kitchen and Bathroom Drain Leaks

Drain leaks most often occur around toilet drains, tub or shower drains, and under cabinets. They often show up as a spot on the ceiling below.

If you see a water spot on your ceiling, check directly above for a leak. If you find nothing there check under all the fixtures and in every vanity. Often water will run across a ceiling and show up in a seam or low spot.

It’s a good idea to check under all your cabinets periodically for leaks. If you find a problem you can often correct a small leak by just tightening the slip joint connections in the piping. If you have leaking metal p-traps you can probably change them to PVC for less than the price of a happy meal.

Leaks From Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures

Another common plumbing problem is leaks from individual fixtures. These vary from refrigerator water filter leaks to leaking kitchen faucets. Most of the time there are individual fixture stops, or valves, which turn the water off to that fixture only. If so, this allows you to stop the water leak and still have water to the rest of the house.

When you are checking under your cabinets pay careful attention to the stops and to the supply lines going to your faucets. These are prime places for leaks. Use your hands to feel for water on these since it is often hard to see a very small leak.

The Most Urgent Leaks

The most urgent kind of leak is a leak on the main water supply piping in your home. That’s why it is very important to know where your main water shut off is located and how to turn it off. If you have a supply pipe leak, getting the water turned off quickly can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Galvanized Pipe Is Especially Tricky

Once the water is off you can begin to try to determine what the problem is. If you have an older house you may have galvanized pipe leaks. These are especially tricky because when you fix one you may cause another by disturbing the old pipe.

Nails Don’t Always Leak Right Away

A fairly common cause of leaks in copper piping is a nail in the pipe. Many times these leaks will not show up for quite some time, however long it takes the nail to rust away. Always be very careful when installing baseboard or other trim.

Working With Plastic Pipe

While leaks in galvanized or even copper pipes require special skills and tools, plastic piping is fairly easily repaired. You need to be sure what kind of pipe you have because different types of pipe use different glues and cements. Pay close attention to the curing times for the cement so your fresh repair doesn’t blow apart when you turn the water back on.

Some plastic pipe, like PEX, can’t be glued and must be joined using special fittings. The pros usually use barbed fittings with crimp rings and special crimping tools but there is a fairly new product that you can use called a shark bite fitting. Unlike its namesake, a plumbing shark bite type fitting is a good thing… but in many cases this connection must be done by a professional and then fully tested to insure integrity of the seal

Aztec Plumbing Provides Leak Detection and Leak Repair Services to Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Bonita Springs, Napes FL or Surrounding cities. Don’t let that water leak keep draining your pocket…GET IF FIX TODAY!

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About the Author

Steve TaubEstablished in 1991, Aztec Plumbing has built a solid reputation as the company you can count on. We assure quality plumbing repairs by standing behind all of our work with a full one year warranty on parts and labor. Our company takes great pride getting the job done right and in a timely, cost effective manner with highly skilled professional technicians that care about your needs and expectations. Our upfront pricing system makes sure that no work begins until you have approved the price. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is never an overtime charge. Call us today for a free estimate.View all posts by Steve Taub