Sneaky Leaks: Tips to avoid disaster
Did you know that the EPA reports that plumbing leaks account for more than One Trillion gallons of water waste, Nationwide. That’s TRILLION, with a T. One million gallons of water will fill a football field sized swimming pool nearly four feet deep.
The EPA also reports, the average household loses 10,000 gallons each year due to leaks. That’s enough to fill a backyard pool six feet deep.
So, what’s so leaky? Some leaks are super sneaky.
Here are five places you might be able to sneak up on your leaks!
1. HVAC drainage line: this isn’t a leak that uses excess water but it is a leak that can spill out of its containment pan, onto the floor and cause damage.
THE FIX: It’s usually just that the line is clogged with dust or debris. Generally simple to fix.
2. Ice maker lines: Your ice maker is a workhorse. Tirelessly, it pools water into the mold so you can have cold beverages. The waterline that supplies this process is generally tucked behind the refrigerator, out of sight. Older models are usually equipped with a clear plastic tube that can pinch, become brittle and crack open or just get pulled out of the fixture. Newer models have a stainless, flexible hose that is much more durable.
THE FIX: Check behind your fridge for any moisture or pooled water. A slow leak my never be seen depending on the type of flooring you have. Replacing this item is a YouTube video away.
3. Faucets: So, maybe faucets are less sneaky than attic or basement water lines … but little drips add up. It’s worth turning the controls a smidge tighter to see if you have a drip or just poor hand strength.
THE FIX: It’s usually just an O ring or a washer. The internal workings of the standard kitchen or bathroom faucet do not work for forever. Also, you might consider changing the supply tube lines with braided lines.
4. Outdoor faucets: The invention of frost proof fixtures have significantly cut down on problems with outdoor faucets wreaking havoc. However, one little caveat we see time after time, is the improper installation of these handy-dandy faucets. See, they are supposed to be installed at a slight angle as to encourage any remaining water to run out of the pipe. Because: without water, a pipe can’t really freeze and burst.
THE FIX: Unscrew the hose … run a little water on the ground, turn off the water … does the water continue to drip out of the faucet for a bit? If it’s dry as bone, there’s probably a good chance it’s not going to drain out. You are likely going to need a handy person or a plumber to fix this. **Remember, never leave hoses connected to faucets in the winter.
5. Dishwashers: Oh how we love or hate our dishwashers. Either they are saving us from the task of scrubbing never ending dishes, or they are doing a terrible job and we are still scrubbing dishes. Tucked back flush with our cabinets, we cannot see what is going on with the kitchen help.
THE FIX: Look closely at the adjoining cabinetry for signs of moisture. If you are seeing the leak, it could be the door gasket or something rather simple. If it’s older, the tubs can form holes.
THE FIX: Don’t over load your dishwasher and definitely use the proper soap. Other leaks, you may need help to resolve.
Other places to look for leaks: hot water heater, washing machine hoses (we recommend you change these every 5-7 years or switch to a braided line), under sinks, attic and basement pumping, access panels to plumbing otherwise walled off.
Remember at SERVPRO we can make sure any disaster you encounter is “Like it never even happened” but we also fully subscribe to the theory “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Should you have a leak sneak up on you and cause more than mess than you can handle, "SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties" is just a phone call away.