Leak detection and prevention is one of the very best ways homeowners can keep tabs on their plumbing, lower their water bills, and save money on expensive repairs. Many plumbing jobs require a professional’s help, and we always recommend consulting with the Punctual Plumbers of Dallas before attempting repairs to unfamiliar or complex pipework. But there are steps you can take at home to prevent some of the most common household leaks from ever happening.
Let’s take a look at 5 common household leaks you should watch for, as well as prevention tips to keep your plumbing and appliances in better working order. Read this before allowing your leaks to progress into more serious problems.
1. Washing Machine Leaks
Washing machines are a crucial convenience, but leaks or overflows could present a major problem. If possible, keep your washing machine on your lowest floor in a room with a floor drain. If it’s located on an upper floor and floods, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in water damage.
For leak prevention, you should replace your washing machine hoses every five years. Additionally, use reinforced steel-braided hoses instead of rubber. They’re stronger and last longer. Finally, be sure to check your connections every year and know how to shut off the water to the washer in the event of an emergency. If you’re going on vacation or you have a washing machine in a second home, consider turning off the water supply to the washer when you know you’ll be away.
2. Toilet Leaks
Similar to your washing machine, a toilet can flood your home in two ways: a leaky line or water overflow. The supply lines of your toilet don’t need to be replaced as often as those of your washing machine, but you should still check them yearly, re-tightening or examining their condition as needed. As long as the line appears to be in good condition, absent of any tearing or visually obvious wear, any potential leak will most likely spring from the fittings. Gently tighten with a small pipe wrench.
An overflow, meanwhile, can come out of nowhere when your toilet clogs. As a general rule, avoid putting any foreign objects into your toilet bowl, including plastic wrappers, diapers, paper products, or any other non-waste. Thankfully, green drain cleaners like BioBen® are OK! If the bowl starts to overflow, turn off the water supply line and wait patiently for the water level to come down to normal height before any further usage. For stubborn blockages, turn to your plunger.
3. Faucet Leaks
Of all the household plumbing leaks you’re likely to see, faucet leaks seem perhaps the most innocent. But not only are persistent faucet leaks bothersome for the noise, they can be reflected in more expensive water bills over time. We’ve previously covered how to fix leaky shower faucets, and we’re always on call for faucet repair, but with the right steps, you can prevent leaky faucets of any kind.
Consider replacing your current washer at the end of the spindle, as well as the O-ring around the stem. The washer, in particular, is subject to twisting and pressure during faucet shut-off. If you wait too long to replace this, the metal end of the stem will grate against the valve seat, damaging it to the point where even a new washer won’t create a water-tight seal. The rubber washer is such an easy, inexpensive piece to replace, and any dripping is your first sign to take a look. Don’t let things progress so far that replacing your faucet becomes necessary.
4. Dishwasher Leaks and Refrigerator Leaks
Kitchen appliances are somewhat prone to leaks, but all too often, these problems go unnoticed behind cupboards and kitchen counters. Check behind and underneath your appliances periodically and look for discoloration on your flooring or walls as a sign of slow-acting problems. As you might expect, loose connections are often to blame. Tighten fittings periodically, even if you don’t notice the above-mentioned problems.
With dishwashers in particular, there are several potential leak sources. The rubber gasket that creates a seal between your tub and door could be worn, a connection might be loose, the tub itself could be old and partially corroded, and so on. For help replacing or repairing a dishwasher, schedule service with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.
5. Water Heater Leaks
With some water heaters holding up to 80 gallons of water, there’s a significant danger of water damage if this appliance springs a leak or corrodes enough to cause home flooding. A little maintenance goes a long way. Make sure your shut-off and drain valves open and close without problems, and flush your water at least once a year to remove built-up sediment. Doing so will help you in other ways, conserving water, extending the water heater’s life, maintaining full volume, and more.
The Punctual Plumbers of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing are water experts. We have the skills, years of experience, and licensing to cover everything from 24/7 emergency plumbing to leak detection and remodel projects. Contact us today, or call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas, for help with any plumbing service.