One of the dark secrets of owning your own home is that it often feels like you’re simply waiting for the next thing to go wrong. For instance, things like leaking pipes. There are many ways to fix pipes that have started leaking, but let’s be honest: they are usually annoying, expensive, or both.
What if you could have it both ways, though? As it turns out, there are many ways that you can prevent these leaks before they happen. And they are easy steps to take…far easier than fixing pipes that are already damaged!
Don’t believe us? Keep reading to discover our top tips for preventing leaking pipes!
Measure the Pressure
Fully protecting your pipes from potential leaks is a long, multi-step process. And it all begins with measuring your water pressure that’s going through your pipes. The magic number here is 60 PSI: you want to make sure that your water pressure is staying below that number.
If it goes over 60, then your pipes may experience water hammers and, before you know it, leaks. Ideally, your pressure should be in the 30-50 range: if you find that it has crept higher than that, you should contact a professional to inspect and repair your pressure before it causes leaks.
Tighten the Fittings
We’re big fans of the old adage: “a teaspoon of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And that’s the spirit behind our next bit of advice, which is just as simple as tightening some fittings.
You need to inspect the areas under your kitchen sink. While you’re down there, run your fingers under the trap to see if you feel any moisture. If you do, that’s a sign that you should tighten the fittings to prevent future leaks.
Also, use this chance to give the trap an honest inspection. Does it look really damaged or corroded? If so, you should have a professional install a new one to help fight pipe leaks.
Seal the Joints
One of the biggest causes of leaking pipes is actually joints that aren’t sealed correctly. While you may choose to wait and see if the joints have started leaking, you can go ahead and inspect them now to avoid future catastrophe.
The goal here to tighten both the joint and the gasket, but this will take a bit of work. For instance, you’ll need to remove the fitting and then coat the interior threads with plumber’s tape before you can tighten the joint.
To tighten the compression nut, you’ll need to cover the ferrules in plumber’s grease first. And if all this sounds like an annoying and messy headache? Don’t forget that you can contact a professional to have it done quickly and efficiently!
Install Water Softener
We’re also big fans of something else: outside the box thinking. Or, in this case, maybe that should be “outside the pipe” thinking. That’s why we like this next solution to preventing leaks: installing water softener.
This is because one of the big causes of leaking pipes is damage caused by hard water. Hard water has a high enough mineral content that it can actually corrode the pipes carrying the water. However, a water softener can really change the game.
The water softener has one job: to remove those extra minerals. This works through a whole complex process of ion exchanges and salt tanks, but the bottom line is that your pipes will last longer and you’ll be less likely to experience leaks. Be sure to contact a professional to help with the water softener installation!
Much our advice will work for any time of the year. However, this next point is mainly focused on the winter time, when pipes not only leak, but they run the risk of bursting as well!
It all starts with the water inside the pipes freezing due to the cold weather. The water transforming to ice will expand, and this is what leads to pipes being damaged and bursting. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this.
For areas outside your home, such as your outside spigots, all you have to do is disconnect and drain your water hoses before putting them away, as this prevents the freezing and bursting of the spigots themselves. For the rest of the pipes, it’s all about insulation.
As you might expect, the pipes that are likeliest to leak, freeze, and burst during the winter are in the unheated areas of your house. Try to insulate the water lines in places like your basement, garage, and even the areas beneath your sinks. With this insulation in place, you’ll have the piece of mind of knowing your pipes are protected. Don’t hesitate to call a professional to have them properly insulate everything!
Schedule Professional Inspection
Most of our advice has been focused on preventing the leaks before they happen. That’s why this next piece of advice is so important: you should schedule a professional inspection of your pipes.
When leaks do happen, they are caused by having holes, splits, or both in your pipes. It’s easy for the naked, untrained eye to miss these things, and then you’re back to square one: trying to prevent leaks when you already have them!
Calling a professional means that they can find and repair any existing leaks in no time. And while they are there, they can help with any other leak prevention ideas, helping to keep your pipes protected throughout the year!
The Name You Can Trust
We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to work with a professional for repairing and replacing pipes and even preventing future leaks. But what professional should you turn to?
At Ben Franklin, the Punctual Plumber, we are the experts in preventing and repairing leaks. We don’t want you to have to call several different professionals throughout the year. Instead, one call is all you’ll need.