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6 Ways to Identify Damaged Plumbing Pipes

If you suspect that you have a water leak in your home, it can be a frustrating experience. Our homes have a network of water carrying pipes, fixtures, and drains that are interconnected. Many of these plumbing pipes are hidden out of sight, and locating the source of a water leak can be tricky without plumbing experience. In this article, we will look at six ways to find a damaged plumbing pipe in your home.

The Dangers of Damaged Pipes

The most dangerous aspect of a damaged plumbing pipe is the amount of damage that can be caused by water in a relatively short period of time. Water damage can be hard to detect and expensive to fix, and it can even undermine the foundations of your home in extreme cases. Locating and fixing leaking plumbing pipes should always be a priority for any homeowner. Many people have experienced a burst pipe during winter, and this is a more obvious problem that’s easy to find and understand. But, a smaller leak can persist for a long time without detection, and the damage can be extensive.

Water Leaks

This may seem like a strange thing to say, but the most obvious indicators of a damaged plumbing pipe is a water leak. But, some water leaks are easy to spot than others, and they can be a sign of an underlying issue. This may sound obvious, but if you have a water leak, your plumbing is damaged. A single small leak could indicate that your plumbing pipes and valves are older, and there could be insulation problems. If you do notice a smaller leak, it’s a great idea to fix it quickly before it deteriorates the surrounding pipes. Even a tiny water leak can get out of hand in a short period of time, and water can cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked.

Water Stains

A water stain or mark can be a sure sign that you have some plumbing issues in your home. A water leak will cause water damage, and this may show as a stain or mark somewhere in your home. This is typically noticed on a ceiling or wall, and you may see darker spots showing in these locations. Many people think that this means that the plumbing leak is located near or directly above the water stain. In many cases, this is true, but not all. Water can travel around the home along various channels. So, the real cause of the water leak may be in an entirely different part of the home. If you notice a water stain, it’s a good idea to contact a local certified plumber can get your plumbing system inspected. They can locate the source of the leak and fix it quickly before it gets worse.

Dimpling or Flaking

General wear and tear to plumbing pipes can be noticed on the surface of the pipe itself. If your pipes are covered with dimples or the metal is flaking, this could indicate corrosion. This is typically caused when water with a high acid concentration is carried by the plumbing pipes. Over time the acid degrades the internal pipe structure, and this can be noticed on the outer pipe surface. If you notice sections of pipe that have these characteristics call a local plumber and get them to take a look. Replacing damaged pipes will cost less than the larger plumbing problems and water damage caused by a burst or broken pipe. If you do have water with a high concentration of acid, it’s a great idea to look at water treatment options to protect your plumbing system.

Changes in Water Pressure

When you have a crack or a hole somewhere in your plumbing system, you may notice a drop in water pressure. After all, there is less water coming to the faucets, and this may be obvious when you wash your hands at the sink. Most people notice a drop in water pressure when they take a shower or try to fill the tub for a relaxing bath. But, lower water pressure has other consequences, such as an increase in the likelihood of a clog because the water pressure cannot push waste down a pipe. If the drop in water pressure is very sudden, there could be a larger water leak located somewhere in your plumbing system. If the drop in water pressure occurs over a longer period of time, there could be a problem with scale buildup inside your pipes. This will narrow the pipe diameter and slow down the water flow throughout your home.

Pools of Standing Water

If the leak has gone unnoticed for a while, water drips or flows will cause standing pools of water. If the water leak is this severe, it’s likely that you can find the source of the leak easily. Follow the drip of water backward, and you should get a good idea of the origin. If you have a break on the main water line supplying your home, you could see standing puddles outdoors or even a sinkhole if the leak is bad enough. If you have water puddles in or outside your home, it’s time to call a local certified plumber for expert help and advice.

Discolored Water and Strange Odors

If you have discolored water coming out of your faucets, this can indicate that you have a water leak, or you may have one in the very near future. Brown colored water will indicate the presence of corrosion in your pipes, and this usually followed by a leak. A foul odor can occur during a pipe leak where the plumbing system struggles to push sewage out of your home. This accumulation of material in your main line is the source of this odor.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to contact your local certified plumber and get them to investigate the source of the problem. They have the training, experience, and specialized tools to find the cause and fix it quickly.

If you suspect that you have a water leak in your home, it can be a frustrating experience. Our homes have a network of water carrying pipes, fixtures, and drains that are interconnected. Many of these plumbing pipes are hidden out of sight, and locating the source of a water leak can be tricky without plumbing experience. In this article, we will look at six ways to find a damaged plumbing pipe in your home.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.