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Common Causes of Water Leaks and Waste


Leaks can waste water, damage your home and encourage unwanted organic growth, not to mention increase water bills. Unfortunately, because you cannot see most of the pipework in your home, you may not always know that a leak has formed. One of the best ways to protect your home from future leaks is to understand and look for common situations that cause leaks to develop.

Check your bathroom
The first place a homeowner should look, after noticing a leak, is the bathroom. While a leaking toilet may not seem to discharge that much water, toilet leaks can actually waste hundreds of gallons of water and often times are silent. Even a small leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time - a gallon every five minutes, ends up being 288 gallons of water in a day! Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair. Here, at Ben Franklin, we take pride in our work and will put forth our best effort at every job, even if it is something as simple as fixing a leak.

Assess your water heater
After checking the toilets, the next place to look for a leak should be your water heater. If you have a tank type water heater, there is a Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (T&P) that can be discharged. If the T&P is causing your water bill to increase, chances are the water pressure in your house is too high and a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) may be needed. Pressure Reducing Valves are designed to reduce incoming water or steam pressure to a safer constant predetermined downstream level. Depending on the type of valve, the downstream pressure is established by a pressure adjustment setting on the valve or by an external sensor. PRVs are utilized in residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial applications, and can be installed by our team at Ben Franklin Plumbing.

Look for thermal expansion
After assessing your water heater situation, there could be a secondary issue of thermal expansion that may need to be addressed, depending on the last time your water heater was replaced. Thermal expansion is caused by the heating of water, which leads to the spacing out of water molecules. This process will increase the water pressure inside your house, for both hot and cold sides. If your water pressure is above 80PSI, either before or after thermal expansion, your water fixtures will be negatively affected. In fact, the plumbing code requires for Pressure Reducing Valves, which were mentioned above, to be installed if your pressure is above 80PSI. A thermal expansion device should also be installed if you have back-flow prevention and a tank type water heater. These provisions are for the sole purpose of protecting your investment in your home, and can be investigated and installed by the Ben Franklin team.

Beware of hidden leaks
Some leaks may be good at hiding. If you've tried everything mentioned above and found nothing, but still have your suspicions that there's a leak somewhere, there are a few more things to try. While you may not be able to locate the leak, you can at least confirm its existence by using your water meter. If you don't know where your supply shut-offs or water meter are located, please do not hesitate to contact us at Ben Franklin to help you. Once the water meter is located, we can make sure that every faucet and water-using appliance in and around your home is off. Automatically-controlled devices, like ice makers, pool-fillers and pumps, should also be disabled in order to detect where the leak is coming from. Once we are certain your house shouldn't be drawing any more water, we can take a look at the water meter to confirm. Any water or dampness in the meter housing could be sign of a leak. If a source cannot be found on the meter, it could point to a leak on the supply line.

It is important to pay attention to the way your plumbing performs. The presence of some of the circumstances listed above often indicates a high risk of leaks, which in the end leads to a high water bill. If you have noticed an increase in your water bill, a musty smell around a drain, a change in water flow or other warning signs of an active leak contact Ben Franklin Plumbing to help you solve these issues. We can detect and treat leaks anywhere in your home, including those that affect hidden pipes in your walls or floors. When you contact us we guarantee our customers on-time plumbing services, replacement and repairs done right the first time with courtesy, convenience, cleanliness, competence and character. If you are noticing a leak in your home call us at (706) 690-3769.