Water leaks are a common household problem. And if left untreated, even small leaks can lead to wasted water, cause major damage, and leave you with hefty water bills.

As our namesake Benjamin Franklin once said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent leaks before they start. Here are seven ways you can prevent plumbing leaks at home.

Install a water softener. Do you have hard water in your house? (Here are some ways you can tell whether you have hard water or soft water.) If you do have hard water, it can leave deposits of calcium and magnesium on your pipes, which can cause corrosion and lead to a leaking pipe. Reach out to your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing location and we’ll assess your home’s water and recommend a water softening system that best suits your needs.

Examine your water pressure, and reduce it if necessary. High water pressure might feel great when you’re taking a shower, but it’s rough on your pipes and can cause them to spring a leak. The best way to tell for sure if your water pressure is too high is with a pressure gauge, which you should attach to a hose outlet or faucet near your water meter. Your home’s water pressure should generally not exceed 80 psi. If it does, a pressure regulator on your main water line can help.

Maintain your lawn. Overgrown trees and bushes in your yard can be more than just an eyesore—they can clog your pipes and turn into big plumbing problems. In the worst case scenario, wastewater and sewage could back up into your home.

Make sure your drains are clear. You can avoid clogs – which can cause leaks – by avoiding putting certain food items down the drain. It's not a good idea to dispose of egg shells, coffee grounds, seeds, and grease and oil this way. You also need to avoid disposing of household items, including lint, paint, and kitty litter (even if the package says it is flushable.)

But avoid using commercial-grade drain cleaners. These types of cleaners are too harsh for home plumbing systems and can eat right through your pipes, no matter what types of pipes you have in your home.

Inspect the seals on your pipes. Your pipes have watertight seals where they connect to plumbing fixtures, but they don’t last forever. If you’re seeing water pool around an appliance, it could be an indication that your seals are wearing out and need to be replaced. Call a plumber for help!

Keep a close eye on your plumbing appliances, especially the hoses. Like seals, hoses aren’t meant to last forever. Make sure you’re examining the hoses on your appliances, including your refrigerator, your dishwasher, and your washing machine to see if there are any small cracks or holes. If so, it’s time to replace them before you have water damage.

It's also important that you know to recognize the signs of a leak. Sudden high water bills, wet spots, and puddles under sinks or near your tub or shower are all signs that you have a leak that must be taken care of.

If you’re not sure if you have a leak, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is here for you! Our plumbers will inspect your home, find any and all leaks, and recommend a plan of action. Request an appointment online or give us a call at 1-877-BEN-1776.