According to the National Post, the average Canadian uses an average of 329 litres of water per day. Not only do we use a lot of water, but due to household plumbing leaks, we lose a lot too. According to the City of Ottawa, water leaks have a direct impact on Ottawa residents’ water bills.
Not only do water leaks cause your water bill to rise, but its most apparent issue is it can damage your home. It doesn’t matter how small the water leak, you’ll either be paying for it through your water bill or damages. Follow our steps on possible causes of household water leaks, how to check for leaks, the repercussions of not fixing the leak, when to hire a plumber, and how much would it cost to repair.
While strands of hair, dirt and debris can clog the water flow of your drains, over time, they can also cause your drains to burst or crack. Clogs that aren’t dealt with can create increased pressure within the drains, causing the water to strain your water pipes and result in damage.
20% to 35% of all residential toilets contain water leaks. While quite common, there are multiple causes for a toilet leak that can remain unnoticed. If you hear your toilet flushing on its own, you have a toilet leak, which is due to a damaged flapper or a flush valve seal leak.
Another issue could be the seal under your toilet is damaged. This leak can usually go undetected unless there’s a stinky smell coming from your toilet. Inspect the screws and bolts for rusting as well as mould surrounding the bottom of the toilet. Make sure the toilet is mounted securely because a loose toilet can allow the seal to leak water.
High water pressure can do a lot of damage to your pipes. Your average water pressure should be at 60 psi (per square inch), while your home’s plumbing system is designed to withstand a maximum of 80 psi.
High water pressure is usually out of your control. Living in neighbourhoods with hills, tall buildings or near fire hydrants can be the cause of the high water pressure. Talk to your plumber about how you can regulate your home’s water pressure.
Corrosion in your pipes is an inevitable issue. You could insulate the metal to maintain its durability, but still, corroded pipes will happen eventually. When your pipes become corroded, pinholes can begin to form, resulting in small leaks in your pipes.
Pipe corrosion is usually due to high or low pH levels in your water. The pH metric measures how much acid is in the water. To check what your water’s pH levels are, purchase pH test strips at any hardware store. The recommended pH level for your water is 6.5 to 8.5. If you have high or low pH water, install water treatment tools to balance out the pH levels.
Sometimes leaks can happen right under your nose. Before you start ripping out walls, the easiest way to check whether you have a water leak is by reading your water meter. In the City of Ottawa, most water meters are found in the basement, right above your main water shut-off valve. The leak indicator (small coloured symbol beside the meter hand) will be moving if there’s a water leak in your home.
The next step is to find the source of the leak. The best way to determine where the leak is coming from is by shutting off the main water valve. Then if your leak indicator has stopped moving, you have a water leak inside your home. If the indicator continues moving, your leak is coming from outside the home.
Sometimes, certain situations with water leaks can easily be repaired without the help of a plumber. With basic knowledge and instructions, you can perform these easy repairs to stop your plumbing system from leaking.
Whether indoor or outdoor, leaky faucets are mostly caused due to an old faucet washer. This small, circular rubber piece is found by removing your valve and valve stem. If the faucet washer looks worn out or deteriorated, you can replace it at any hardware store. Make sure you purchase a faucet washer that matches the old one, or it won’t fit. It’s also important to winterize your outdoor faucet to prevent future leaks.
Learn about whether it’s time to repair vs. replace your faucet.
Now, some toilet leaks will require a plumber. But as we’ve stated, there is a wide range of causes for a toilet leak, and there are a few that can be fixed with ease. In this case, your toilet leak could be due to a damaged flapper or faulty fill valve.
Inspect the water levels of the water within the toilet bowl and tank. One way to check is by putting food colouring in the tank, waiting 20 minutes and inspecting whether the food colouring has seeped into the toilet bowl. If the food colouring is in the toilet bowl, it’s time to replace your flapper and fill valve. All can be purchased at your local hardware store with simple how-to instructions included.
When your water system starts leaking, your first instinct is to try and fix the problem yourself, avoiding the plumbing bill you dread. Although there are YouTube videos galore showing you how to repair your plumbing system, doing the job yourself can run you into some issues which could cost a lot more than a plumbing bill.
When you’re out of your depth, it’s best to trust an honest plumber who knows what they’re doing.
Don’t take a long time to get these leaks fixed! Whatever household water leak you may have, let the experts at Out Of This World take a look. From water heaters, tubs to showers, we’re ready to help. Our experience in the home service industry allows our staff to serve your needs at a higher and more efficient standard.
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