Formerly Jim's Plumbing

Leaking Pipes with Dan

I’m Dan. Leaking pipes are those nuisances that often slip through the cracks, especially if you’re not paying close attention.

When an old pipe gives way in the garden after a wet winter, you might not notice until spring. You’ll wonder why the roses are thriving unusually well, and then a hefty water bill lands on your doorstep, revealing the true culprit.

That’s right… you’ve got yourself a leaking pipe.

Why Don’t Plumbers Use Galvanised Pipes Anymore?

We often see the old galvanised iron pipes in the older homes causing water leaks everywhere.  They rust from the inside and eventually fall apart.  Back in the day plastics weren’t a match for today’s durability standards, and galvanised pipes were a more economical choice than copper. So that’s what they used.

Originally the inside and outside of the pipe were lined with zinc to stop rusting – that’s what galvanised means – but the lining doesn’t last forever and sooner or later rust sets in and you’ll get a leak.

Galvanised pipes have been out of use for decades. That means if you’ve still got them you can look forward to leaks in the long run because your pipes are bound to be reaching the end of their life.

Rusty Water

A tell-tale sign that there’s trouble brewing is if you haven’t turned the garden tap on for a while and when you do you get rusty water. A tell-tale sign that there’s trouble brewing is if you haven’t turned the garden tap on for a while and when you do you get rusty water.  It’s pretty obvious from that what’s happening underground in your pipes. It’s only a matter of time before the pipe stops being a pipe and becomes an irrigation system.

Finding the Pipe Leak

Let’s say you’re pretty observant. You notice that part of the yard is turning into a swampy marsh, yet it hasn’t rained for a couple of weeks. After putting two and two together, you determine that the culprit must be a leaky pipe. Now you have to find the leak. You might be surprised by how deeply buried some of those old pipes are.

At least the soil is well-moistened.  But really, it’s best to leave all that to the licensed plumber because putting in a new section is tricky and it’s not likely that you’ll have the know-how to avoid the risk of structural damage. That said, I’ve never met a plumber who says they enjoy digging.

Types of Pipes

The various pipe material options used in modern plumbing systems are vast. I’ve talked a lot about old galvanised pipes in the garden, and how easily they corrode, but that doesn’t mean other pipes don’t spring a leak.

You’ve got your copper pipes, which are often used for their durability and reliability. However, they too can corrode over time, especially if the water has a high acid content. Then there’s PVC, a lightweight and corrosion-resistant option ideal for drain lines. However, these are susceptible to damage from UV light and high temperatures.

Each pipe type serves a specific function within the plumbing system. You’ll need to select the most suitable type, giving necessary consideration to the environment and usage demands.

Plastic vs. Metal Pipes: The Debate Continues

These days, you’ll most likely find that most newer Australian homes have PVC pipes instead of metal pipework, as they’re far less likely to corrode. That being said, they’re not completely immune to cracking under extreme temperatures. This means that while you might not necessarily be dealing with leaking pipes, you might find yourself dealing with burst pipes.

Though metal piping is more susceptible to corroding, it can often handle higher pressure levels better. The choice between PVC and metal pipework depends on the specific needs of your plumbing infrastructure and the environmental conditions of your location.

Water Pressure Woes and Pipe Materials

If there’s one particularly sneaky enemy that can cause havoc to your home’s plumbing and lead to burst pipes and water leaks in and around your home, it’s excessive water pressure.

Obviously, we all consider strong water pressure a ‘must have’ in our showers and kitchen taps. But when it exceeds recommended levels, that pressure can really put pipes, pipe joints and fixtures through the wringer. This can add to the wear and tear, making the chances of a leaking pipe even more likely.

Material choice in pipes plays a major role in withstanding this pressure. PVC pipes, favoured for their resistance to rust and low cost, can be susceptible to pressure-induced damage. Metal pipes, although robust, may succumb to corrosion over time. Balancing water pressure and selecting the right pipe materials are critical in creating a durable system and reducing the risk of leaking pipes in and around your home.

The Stealthy Menace of Small Leaks

Small leaks are deceptively dangerous. Typically hidden and going on within the walls or under floors, you can go for long periods without ever detecting them while they silently inflict major structural damage to your home.

Many different issues can cause these pinhole leaks, including minor fractures in pipes, or faulty connections. Over time, they can lead to significant water damage, promote mould growth, and even attract moisture-seeking pests to your home. The accumulative effect on your water bill can also be substantial. So I’ll give you the hot tip. I highly recommend regularly checking for signs of moisture or unexplained increases in how much water you’ve used. If you uncover any issues, always have a professional plumber address them quickly to prevent further damage and expense.

Dealing with Tree Roots and Underground Pipes

Tree roots naturally seek out the nearest water supply for moisture. Unfortunately, underground pipes are a prime target, which can result in serious plumbing issues.

Roots can exert immense pressure on pipes, infiltrating even the smallest joints or cracks. This intrusion can cause blockages, restrict water flow, and even result in complete pipe collapse. It’s vital for any homeowner to consider the placement of trees relative to their plumbing and to engage in preventative measures such as root barriers.

When you suspect that root intrusion may be behind your leaking pipes, get in touch with a professional plumber straight away. They can employ non-invasive techniques like hydrojetting or root cutting to remedy the situation without further compromising the integrity of the plumbing system.

Hot Water System Leaks: A Common Household Headache

Leaks in hot water systems are a prevalent issue, often manifesting through symptoms such as fluctuating water temperatures or a drop in water pressure. These can stem from a variety of causes including internal corrosion, compromised valve integrity, or degraded or broken seals and gaskets.

Regular servicing is key to preventing such problems, but when they do occur, it’s crucial to engage a professional plumber. They can perform a comprehensive assessment, identifying not only the immediate issue but also any underlying problems that could cause future leaks, ensuring your hot water system remains efficient and reliable.

Plumber Near Me to the Leaky Pipe Rescue

Whether you stumble upon a leaking pipe, your cat sniffs one out, or you detect a musty smell that causes suspicion, Plumber Near Me is here to assist. Ignoring a leak isn’t wise as it leads to water wastage and an inflated water bill. And you can’t just shut off the mains indefinitely.

Leaky pipes and burst pipes can occur anywhere and often without warning, from walls to floors to the very ground. They signal plumbing issues that demand immediate attention to avoid escalated costs and damage. Regular maintenance by professional plumbers can stave off these concerns.

Should you encounter any obvious signs of a leaking pipe, find and shut off the water supply valve and contact Plumber Near Me ASAP. With our expert plumbing experience, we’ll address the problem efficiently and help prevent future incidents. After all, in the realm of plumbing, prevention is indeed better than a cure.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.