Over time, many of the pipes, valves, gaskets, and fittings that make up your plumbing system can fail and cause water to leak. A leak can cause a significant amount of water damage to your home, especially if it goes unnoticed. Here are six ways to be proactive and prevent plumbing leaks from happening in your home.

1. Toilets

There a few different ways that a toilet can leak.

  • Overflow: It’s the most common toilet leak and is usually caused by trying to flush either too much toilet paper or by flushing something that shouldn’t be put in the toilet in the first place. Being mindful of what you’re flushing will help to reduce overflows and prevent plumbing leaks.
  • Clog: The toilet drain can also be clogged if there is a blockage somewhere else in the pipes. Usually, you will notice the water gurgling if there is a clog forming. If plunging and drain cleaners won’t clear the clog, a plumber can clear the pipe to avoid any leaking from an overflow.
  • Wax Ring: There’s a wax ring at the base of the toilet where it meets the floor to keep water from leaking. Over time it will lose its effectiveness and can leak. If you notice the toilet shifting a little or see any condensation or water at the base of the toilet, the ring should be replaced.

2. Faucets

Unfortunately, faucets are not designed to last forever. But, you can extend the life of faucets with a little preventative maintenance. The most common reason for a leaky faucet is when one of washers or o-rings fail. They can both be easily replaced to prevent plumbing leaks. Even a slowly dripping faucet can cause a significant increase in your water bill.

3. Prevent Plumbing Leaks in Your Water Heater

Your water heater tank holds many gallons of hot water. Over time, sediment from the water will collect in the bottom of the tank. Not only will the sediment take the place of the hot water and make your water heater work harder, but the sediment may also start to corrode the tank, causing it to leak. It’s a good idea to flush your water heater once a year or hire a plumber to perform yearly maintenance on it.

4. Inspect Pipes.

A good way to prevent plumbing leaks from your pipes is to do a thorough inspection of all visible pipes at least twice a year. Take a look at pipes under the sinks and in basements and crawl spaces to make sure there aren’t any issues. By inspecting your pipes regularly, you should notice any condensation or water stains which are sure signs that they are leaking.

5. Insulate Pipes

Pipes that freeze in the winter can burst and cause a major plumbing leak. If you have certain pipes that are prone to freezing in the winter because they are exposed, insulating the pipes will help. Pipe insulation made from foam is inexpensive and easy to install yourself.

6. Electric Water Sensor

You can have an electric water sensor installed behind your washing machine, dishwasher, or any other appliance that uses water. If there is any condensation or leaking, the sensor will shut the water off preventing plumbing leaks.

First Choice Home Inspectors provides home inspection services to Middle Tennessee. Contact us to book an appointment.