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Household water leaks are a major cause for concern to homeowners. Not only can unexpected leaks cause damage to walls, floors, pipes and other areas of the home, but water loss can also mean money down the drain in excessive water bills. Water leaks can sometimes cost hundreds of additional dollars if the issue isn’t detected and fixed by a professional local plumber as soon as possible.
Sometimes you might not even know that you have an active water leak. Certain leaks can be hidden inside appliances, toilets, walls, and HVAC equipment. You may not realize that there’s a problem until you notice that your water bills have suddenly increased for some reason. Other times, a water leak is clearly visible. A sink is dripping or a puddle may be forming beneath an appliance on a daily basis. Your wisest choice under any of these circumstances is to contact a local plumber, your best resource for identifying the source of any leaks and making the necessary repairs.
Five of the Most Common Home Water Leak Causes
Whether you’re hearing faint dripping sounds in a bathroom or seeing visible water leakage somewhere else in your home, it’s important to know the usual spots from which these common leaks usually originate. Once you understand where the top five areas for water issues occur in a home, you’ll at least have an idea of what to say to your local plumber before you make an appointment.
1. Washing Machines
Whether you live in a home in Cleveland, TN, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, your laundry area is the second greatest source of your house’s water usage, seconded only by a bathroom. When a washing machine leaks, the resulting situation can become overwhelmingly messy. Most average American families wash up to eight loads of laundry every week. Not only does that equate to a lot of water usage, but it also means your machine is working very hard over the years. Leaks and machinery wear are bound to develop eventually.
Both top- and front-loading washers can develop leaks, some of which need the expert help of your local professional. The cause of what appears to be a washing machine water leak can actually be due to a clogged drain hose. A clog will prevent water from leaving the drainpipe, where it should move the liquid out to the sewer lines. Instead, the clog will force your draining water to flow back into the washing machine and flood onto your floor. So while this scenario looks like a water leak, it’s really caused by a clog in your drainpipe that needs to be cleared.
Other causes of leaks in washing machines can be even more problematic. A pump can spring a leak. Your basket gasket can be damaged. Sometimes the tub seals and bearings around the machine’s doors could be worn away and need replacement parts. Only a professional can be trusted to replace these specialized parts, which often requires dissembling the machine and re-assembling it properly.
2. Water Heaters
A traditional tank water heater can last from 8-12 years before corrosion erodes its insides and leaks begin. A tankless heater is often good for up to 20 years, but they can also corrode and need to be replaced over time. When a water heater nears its life expectancy, it will start to rust and show signs of corrosion. The big problem with a leaking water heater is that you don’t know if it will develop a slow leak as it deteriorates, or if it will suddenly burst, sending water all over your basement floor.
It’s best to know what type of heater you have and its exact age, so you can better determine its life expectancy. A water heater leaks due to its age; its anode rod and flushing sediment should be regularly maintained and inspected by your local plumber to delay the need for a replacement tank. A crack in the tank or loose-fitting valves can also be the cause of a puddle or leak. Only your local plumber in Cleveland, TN should check out an issue with your water heater.
A leaky toilet may not seem like a big deal, but it can substantially increase your water bill on a daily basis if it isn’t promptly repaired. A toilet leak can be caused by faulty nuts, bolts, or washers, which hold the bowl and tank together. The fill valve and ballcock might have become loosened from the bottom of the tank. A local plumber will need to diagnose the issue and replace the appropriate parts.
If the toilet is leaking from beneath the tank’s base, the sealing wax ring that secures the toilet to the floor has eroded. This is a much more involved job for your local plumber to fix, requiring the removal of the whole toilet from its base.
Refrigerators and dishwashers are often the cause for household leaks. This is especially true if your fridge has an automatic water dispenser or ice-making machine.
If you notice a puddle every day by your refrigerator, the plastic hose that connects the ice maker with the water filter can be the cause of a leak. Call in a local plumber to replace the hose.
A dishwasher can develop leaks in its supply lines. These hoses are behind the appliance and pretty much inaccessible with a built-in dishwasher. A local plumber will be able to get to the root of the problem, which can be anything from a failing gasket seal on the washer’s door to a damaged drain hose.
A faucet in a sink, tub, or shower can develop a leak from the nozzle or at the fixture’s base. A leaky faucet can cost the average household 34 gallons of lost water a year. It’s best to get your local plumber in to fix this immediately. The issue could be caused by a damaged cartridge or worn seals. More serious damage could be going on inside the water supply lines, though, behind tiled walls. If your tiles are beginning to lift, the leak is likely behind the wall.
If you suspect a water leak in any area of your home, contact Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air.