How a Small Plumbing Drip Could Cost You Thousands

A small drip or leak in a pipe may not seem like a threat but it can be costly if you don’t have it repaired. Many people will procrastinate fixing a drip or leak in their plumbing or use a “quick fix” to temporarily delay a real repair. If you have a pipe under a sink with a drip and put a bucket under it or just wrap it with plumber’s tape, it could cost your thousands of dollars down the road. The same is true for a toilet base that is leaking or other drips from plumbing fixtures.

If you ignore or put a temporary fix on plumbing leaks or drips, you could regret it later. Water is corrosive and it will continue to seep through any loose fitting or hole in plumbing if not repaired correctly. While plumbing tape or catching drips can minimize damage temporarily, eventually a small leak can lead to a pipe bursting or a major water leak. If you are not at home when this happens, it can cause:

  • Flooding in your home
  • Ruined floors, ceilings, walls and furniture
  • Extensive, emergency repairs needed for plumbing and your home
  • Mold invasion that can cause health problems and require expensive removal

While a plumbing repair may seem expensive at the time, it is much more cost efficient than what can occur if you procrastinate or use a temporary fix. It is worth the investment to correctly fix pipe leaks, dripping faucets, leaking water heaters and other plumbing issues immediately. In the long run, it can save you thousands of dollars in home repairs and prevent unexpected plumbing emergencies in the future.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Preventing Plumbing Flooding Problems

Flooding can create disastrous problems in your home. From damaging walls, floorings and furnishing, to the mold issues left behind, flooding is something you want to avoid. While you cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring, flooding from plumbing can often be prevented or quickly handled. Knowing the possible causes of plumbing flooding can help you look for the signs to avoid this disaster in your home.

Leaking Pipes

A small plumbing drip or leak never stays small. Any leaking plumbing needs to be fixed before it becomes larger. Look for water stains on walls or ceilings; bubbling or soft flooring can also be a sign of leaks. Get these issues fixed before a pipe bursts and causes serious water damage in your home.

Water Heater Tank Leaks

One of the most common causes of plumbing flooding is tank water heaters. The interior of these tanks deteriorates over time from mineral buildup. Eventually, the tank can corrode or the release valve can stop working, releasing dozens of gallons of water into your home. Keeping up with maintenance and proactive replacement for your water heater can prevent leaks and expensive flood damage.

Frozen Pipes

Freezing pipes can cause damage that can lead to a burst pipe either during the freeze or down the road. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated to prevent freezing. If a pipe does freeze, call a plumber to inspect the pipes for damage to prevent leaks later.

If you have a water heater or leaking pipe problem flooding your home, turn off your main water valve and call your local plumber. The quicker you can catch, stop and fix the leak, the less damage that will be done to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Do Your Pipes Sweat?

As summer approaches and the days become more humid, the process of changing our closets over to readily available summer wear instead of winter, requires storing them away in a safe, dry space, until changing seasons require their retrieval. Often times this ‘safe, dry place’ is the basement. Safety is often a condition gleaned from experience. Memories of a damp basement with wet cardboard boxes in storage and wet laundry are vividly recalled by anyone who has had such an experience.

When a leaky water line goes too long unnoticed it can create quite a bit of damage. However, when no source of leakage is found, and a further exhaustive search for a loose fitting or joint returns void, where do you look for next for the source of water? If the basement was not flooded and the damage to your stored goods was minimal, that source of water may not be from inside the pipes, but outside. Your water pipes may be “sweating!”

When it is hot and humid, the water is colder inside the pipe than out, drops of water condensation form along and under the plumbing pipes; so much so, that they can actually drip as though there was a small leak in that pipe.

Self-adhesive tapes of pipe insulation can be purchased to wrap around the pipes, effectively catching the drips, to help control the moisture. Make sure to wipe the pipes dry before applying and to cover the fittings and joints as well. Should you still discover a problem with excessive water, make sure that you call to your local plumbing professional.

Polybutylene Pipe

Many homes built in the 1980’s and early 1990’s have polybutylene plumbing and/or polybutylene water service lines that run from the street to the home.  Polybutylene pipe was used because it was less expensive than copper tubing and easier to install.  Builders saved thousands of dollars for materials and labor on each house constructed by using polybutylene plumbing instead of copper.

Unfortunately, it turned out that polybutylene pipes and fittings suffered from manufacturing defects that caused them to fail after only a few years of service.  They were also affected by the chlorine present in most municipal water systems which cause the pipes and fittings to break down.

In addition, polybutylene pipes can become fragile from excessive heat or cold or if they were overly stressed during installation.  In short, polybutylene plumbing systems usually have serious problems with leaks repeatedly developing either due to cracked pipes or from failed fittings.

If you have polybutylene plumbing in your home that is developing leaks, it is often possible in the short term to repair the leak by replacing the failed section of pipe or fittings using modern PEX pipe and fittings with adapters to connect the PEX pipe to the polybutylene pipe.

However, repairing leaky polybutylene pipe is rarely cost effective.  Your polybutylene pipes will continue to develop leaks and the best solution is usually to completely replace all of the polybutylene plumbing.

A complete polybutylene pipe replacement is a big job that is best left to an experienced plumber.  Be sure to get bids from several reputable plumbers and choose a plumber with experience in replacing polybutylene plumbing.