How to Spot a Plumbing Leak

Over time, wear and tear can cause water leaks. Usually these are easy to spot, such as a damp floor or a discolored ceiling.

However, some leaks can be harder to identify. If a leak goes unnoticed, it can snowball into a much bigger problem. Here are five signs that you might have a plumbing leak.


Seals are located wherever two or more pipes join together, and they create an airtight seal that prevents pressurized water from leaking at those connection points. Most plumbing seals are made from rubber, and they are usually very durable under normal use. However, if the system isn’t used for extended periods of time, the seals can start to dry out and crack. Eventually, they will lose their ability to hold moisture and water pressure, which means that leaks will begin to form at the seals’ joints.

While clogs and sediment are the most common causes of plumbing leaks, pipe corrosion can also cause them. This is because clogged pipes place a great deal of pressure on the insides of the pipe walls and the seals, which can wear down over time. Eventually, the pressure and force will break down the seals or the sides of the pipe walls, which will lead to a leaky joint.

To help protect the integrity of their seals, sealants such as plumber’s putty are used to fill in any cracks or crevices. The best sealants are those that will remain flexible at low temperatures, such as rubber. In addition to being flexible, rubber will withstand high levels of water pressure and is more durable than other materials.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are attracted to water, nutrients and oxygen. As they search for these elements, they often enter buried plumbing pipes. Even a small leak or crack in a pipe can give roots the perfect opportunity to enter and cause damage. When they enter the water and sewer lines, it causes blockages and slows waste flow, resulting in a clogged toilet or other plumbing issues.

The sludge and other debris that build up in your drains can also cause foul odors within the home. This can indicate that there are a lot of tree roots in your sewer line. It is a good idea to call in a plumber as soon as you notice these signs.

One option is to buy a foaming root killer and pour it down the drains. This will kill the roots and prevent them from growing back and causing more blockages. Another option is to use copper sulfate, which is available at most hardware stores. This is a safe and non-toxic solution that can be used in the kitchen and bathroom drains.

Besides blockages, other signs that tree roots are invading your sewer or water lines include a whistling sound in the basement or a low water pressure. The most obvious sign is a toilet that takes longer to empty after you flush it.

To prevent the infiltration of tree roots, it is a good idea to avoid planting trees and shrubs near water and sewer lines. You can also hire Doylestown plumbing to install a pipe lining system. This is a minimally-invasive way of repairing and rehabilitating existing water pipes and sewer lines. It involves inserting polyester resin-saturated felt liners into the damaged pipes, which create a strong and durable barrier that prevents the infiltration of any roots. This method is also more permanent than other methods of addressing root problems. It is especially helpful in cases of old, corroded pipes. However, it is not ideal for repairing cracks or leaks that have already developed.

Pipe Corrosion

All metal plumbing pipes corrode at some point, especially if they are exposed to water continuously for decades. This corrosive action can cause pinhole leaks and other pipe failures. If a corroded pipe is ignored, it can ultimately cause a full piping failure in your home or business.

Your water’s chemistry and the conditions in your home or building can impact how quickly corrosion occurs in pipes. Some of the most common factors include:

A rusty or metallic taste in your drinking water can be a sign that your pipes are corroding and releasing metal into your water supply. Your water may also appear brown or blue-green if the pipes are made of iron. This is because the rust in the pipes gives the water these colors.

Other warning signs of corroded pipes include:

Unusual noises from your plumbing system are another potential sign of a leaking pipe. The noises can range from clanks and bangs to moans and gurgles. This is because the corrosion in your pipes eats away at the seals around them and creates openings for water to escape through.

A water softener can help slow the rate of corrosion in your pipes by reducing their mineral content and keeping them clean. Other ways to reduce the risk of corroded pipes are:

Some of the environmental factors that can influence how quickly your pipes corrode include soil chemistry (for buried pipes), proximity to salt water, water temperature, turbulence, velocity and pressure, type of transported liquid or gas and stray electrical currents. Having an experienced plumber inspect your pipes can be an excellent way to identify areas of concern and prevent pipe problems before they occur. In some cases, if your pipes are corroded, a professional plumber will recommend replacing the affected sections of pipes. These measures will protect the integrity of your piping system and ensure that you get the most efficient use from your pipes. This will also save you money in the long run by preventing expensive pipe replacement and repairs in the future. Also, a new pipe will provide a better flow of water and allow for greater water pressure.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can wreak havoc on your home. Not only do they prevent water from flowing, but they can also burst, causing flooding and structural damage. This is especially true when the pipe is located in your attic or crawl space, where it's more likely to freeze due to being right up against the cold walls of your house.

You'll know you have a frozen pipe if none of your faucets produce water or the toilets won't refill after being flushed. You'll also notice a bad smell coming from the affected area, as sewage will back up into the plumbing system if the pipe ruptures.

If you suspect a frozen pipe, it's important to turn off your water supply before trying to thaw it on your own. You can do this by turning off the valves in your home that connect to the affected area of the plumbing.

After you've turned off your water, you should try to thaw the frozen section of the pipe by increasing the temperature around it. You can do this by placing a heating pad or a hair dryer on the affected area of the pipe or by opening any cabinet doors that contain plumbing pipes close to exterior walls (to allow warmer air to circulate). You should also avoid using open flame devices like blowtorches, propane or kerosene heaters or space heaters as these can increase the risk of fire.

While you can attempt to thaw a frozen pipe on your own, it's usually better to call in a professional plumber as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to quickly and safely locate the frozen section of your plumbing, but they can also perform an effective frozen pipe repair to prevent future problems.

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place, such as making sure all outdoor water lines are properly insulated and draining any hoses before storing them for the winter. You should also keep the thermostat set to a reasonable temperature and make sure any areas of your attic or crawlspace that have plumbing are adequately insulated. If you have a crawl space that's particularly drafty, consider sealing up cracks to further reduce the chances of your pipes freezing.

Over time, wear and tear can cause water leaks. Usually these are easy to spot, such as a damp floor or a discolored ceiling. However, some leaks can be harder to identify. If a leak goes unnoticed, it can snowball into a much bigger problem. Here are five signs that you might have a plumbing…