The Top Three Causes Of Plumbing Leaks In Phoenix
Most of us have experienced a water leak here in Phoenix, and some of us have unfortunately experienced the devastation of having a flood due to a plumbing leak. Plumbing leaks are a leading cause of insurance claims here in Phoenix, which leads me to ponder: what are the three most common causes of plumbing leaks in Phoenix and how can we avoid them? Well, Robins Plumbing, Inc. can help you with that!
Leaking Water Pipes
Plumbing ages with time, just like we do. Plumbing leaks are often caused by time and aging. Some pipes do last longer than others, and the condition of your water can certainly play a part in the condition of your pipes and how well they age over the years. If you’re plumbing is getting up there in age, you will want to consider having it inspected.
Soil conditions can play a part in water leaks if your plumbing is below ground. Water lines below ground are very common here in Phoenix because our frost line is so shallow, and pipes that run under the slab of your home typically run cooler than those that run in the attic. Acidic soil conditions or rocky soil can play a big role in underground water leaks. Water leaks underground don’t always show up above ground right away, especially if the water line is under a concrete slab. This is when it is important to monitor your water bill for any abnormalities.
The type of water pipe that you have can also play a role in leaks. For example, if you have polybutylene piping, it isn’t a matter of “if” you will have a leak, but a matter of when. Polybutylene piping has been illegal to use in the United States since the late 1990’s, and for good reason. Polybutylene piping weakens due to our chlorinated water, and while the class action settlement has passed, there are still a lot of homes here in the Phoenix area that have polybutylene that needs to be replaced.
Human error is of course a leading cause of leaks. Oh, the stories I could tell of leaks caused by human error! From nails going through walls and nailing the water line – get it? “Nailing” the water line. Okay, pun aside, this happens all of the time, typically from hanging something on the wall like a painting or shelf. DIY projects can also turn into plumbing leaks, when what seems like a simple plumbing repair from a YouTube video can often turn catastrophic in the wrong hands.
Frozen pipes are not common here in Phoenix, but they do happen. Frozen pipes often occur on water lines going to swamp coolers and water lines that have been routed outside without insulation. A quick tip to help prevent frozen pipes during the wintertime: when the temperatures drop to freezing – ya know, when hell freezes over – turn a faucet on to a very slow drizzle in your home. Moving water can’t freeze.
Leaking Supply Lines And Washing Machine Hoses
Another leading cause of plumbing leaks and flooding here in Phoenix are supply lines and washing machine hoses. Fun fact: your supply lines and washing machine hoses are recommended to be replaced on average every five years. Your supply lines are the hoses that connect your plumbing fixtures to your plumbing system. You can find these hoses, often braided stainless steel, connecting your faucets and your toilets to your plumbing water system. We recommend that you check these hoses and connections every quarter of the year. The best way to do that is to gently place paper towels all around the supply lines, angle stops, washing machine hoses, and the valves at your washing machine. Finding a small drip and taking care of it right away can prevent thousands of dollars in water damage.
Water heaters and water softeners
Leaking water heaters and salt water softeners are another common plumbing problem here in Phoenix. It is now plumbing code to install electric water heaters with drain pans and drain lines but that wasn’t always the case, and many water heaters that were replaced DIY or by non-licensed companies don’t have a pan under them protecting the home from water damage if the water heater leaks. Even if you’re immediately aware of your water heater leaking and shut the water off to the water heater tank, without a pan you still have an average of 50 gallons of water that are going to leak and potentially cause water damage to your home, especially if your water heater is in a closet or inside your home.
Water softeners are also a leading cause of leaks here in the Phoenix area. Phoenix has hard water, no doubt about it, and while water softeners can assist with softening that water, they should be checked regularly at all of their connections and tanks to ensure they are not leaking to avoid potential flooding.
Robins Plumbing Can Help You With The Worst Leaks
If you need help from a professional for a leak in your home’s pipes, look no further! Robins Plumbing, Inc. can help you with the worst leaks you can’t handle yourself. With fifteen years in the business behind our company, we can resolve any plumbing-related issue with professionalism and courtesy. In addition to general plumbing emergencies, we can also help you with commercial and residential gas line installation, backflow prevention, and flood restoration issues.
Contact Robins Plumbing Inc. today!