Tips to Avoid a Costly Plumbing Leak
When a pipe or fixture in your plumbing system bursts or springs a leak, it can be a costly venture. Not only do you need to repair the pipe, you may also be spending money to repair water damage to your walls, floors and ceilings.
While not all plumbing leaks can be prevented, there are situations that can be avoided with preventive maintenance. Here are some tips to keep your plumbing and home safe from leaks and to protect your bank account from costly repairs.
Winter Plumbing Woes
One of the main sources of plumbing leaks is pipes that burst due to freezing temperatures during the winter months. While the Phoenix area does not have many below-freezing days or nights, they do occur. And because we rarely have this cold weather, many people do not insulate or protect their plumbing from freezing. A frozen pipe can make a big water mess if it bursts, especially if it goes unnoticed for any amount of time. Here are a few tips to protect your exposed pipes when freezing weather occurs:
- Turn off outdoor water sources. If you have faucets outside, turn off the water to these sources and drain the pipes of all water. These exposed pipes are the most likely to freeze during a cold snap since they are outside. Make sure to disconnect any hoses from outdoor faucets.
- Cover outdoor or garage plumbing. Use plumbing insulation to cover your outdoor faucets and exposed pipes. If you have an unheated garage that has plumbing, make sure to insulate these pipes too.
- Make sure pumps are covered and insulated. If you have a sump or ejector pump in your home, make sure it is covered and insulated to avoid freezing.
It may seem like trouble to insulate plumbing and disconnect all water sources from the outdoors for a few freezing days, but it can save you a big repair bill. You can buy foam plumbing insulation at most hardware or home improvement stores.
Water Heater Maintenance
Another common plumbing leak issue is the water heater tank. If the tank springs a leak, you can have hundreds of gallons of water flooding your home. Most water heaters last about ten years, but they can deteriorate faster when they are not maintained. Minerals can build up in the tank and cause corrosion inside, leading to a hole in the tank or a busted seam. If a water heater tank begins leaking when you are not at home, you could come home to a destroyed floor, wet walls and other damage, on top of needing to replace your water heater.
Keeping up with maintenance on your water heater is the best way to avoid tank leaks. Your tank should be drained at least once a year to release built-up minerals. This is also a good time to do an inspection of the mechanical aspects of the heater. Our team at Mason Plumbing can do your annual draining and maintenance on your water heater. We can also replace your old one when it is time. Investing in a tankless water heater can help avoid the possibility of tank leaks and reduce your energy bills as well.
Proactive Plumbing Repairs
Have you ever put a bucket under a plumbing drip, or wrapped a pipe with plumbing tape to stop a leak? These are temporary fixes that only delay the eventual repair and could put you at risk for more damage to your home. If you have a leaking or dripping pipe, get it repaired. The small leak will only get worse. A bucket under the sink where a small drip is occurring won’t do much good if that pipe finally bursts. Hundreds of gallons of water can come pouring into your home in a short period of time. Call our plumbing team at Mason Plumbing and we can repair your leaking pipe for a fraction of the cost of a water damage bill.
What to Do if You Have a Plumbing Leak
Not all plumbing leaks can be prevented, but you can limit the damage to your home. When you notice a drip or leak or suspect a pipe may be leaking due to water stains on walls or ceilings, call a plumber right away. If there is a major leak, shut off your main water supply until the pipe can be repaired. Your main water shut-off is usually located outside under the house or in the basement at the entry point of your main water line.
At Mason Plumbing, we offer emergency plumbing repair service if you do have a plumbing leak or burst pipe. Our experienced plumbing team is standing by to take your call when you need a pipe repaired or a water heater replaced, with affordable rates to keep your repair costs low.