5 Types of Water Leakage And How to Fix Them

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Blogs

Drip … drip … drip … Do you hear that? It’s the relentless sound of a leaky pipe, quietly escalating your water bill and potentially leading to significant damage in your home!

Leaky pipes can sneak up on us, often hidden behind walls or in the corner of your front yard. They’re a common nuisance that can result in high repair costs if not promptly addressed. But don’t fret — we’re here to answer all your plumbing-related questions!

Is there a damp spot on your ceiling, a pool of water in the basement, or is your front lawn resembling a marsh? This guide will walk you through the 5 most common types of water leakage and provide you with effective solutions to rectify them!

Which Areas in Your Home Are Most Prone to Water Leakage?

Water leakage can strike at any point in your home, but certain areas are more prone to this issue than others. Critical spots include walls, basement, front yard, air conditioning units, and places where copper pipes are present.

Water Leaks in Your Walls

Water leak in wall

Water leaks in your walls can be incredibly challenging to detect and repair. They are frequently caused by leaking pipes hidden behind the drywall, leading to structural damage if not caught early. Telltale signs of a leak include wall discoloration, peeling paint, or a sudden spike in your water bill.

When these signs manifest, immediate action is key. Shut off your main water valve to prevent further damage, and locate the leak.

For smaller leaks, applying Epoxy Putty serves as a temporary repair. This method provides a watertight seal around the leak, mitigating immediate water loss. However, it’s only a temporary fix and doesn’t address the underlying damage to the pipe.

Replacing a pipe within a wall is a complex task, necessitating the expertise of a professional plumber to ensure the issue is entirely resolved and future leaks are prevented.

Water Leakage in Your Basement After Heavy Rain

Basements are notoriously susceptible to water leaks, especially following heavy rainfall. The design and location of your basement inherently make it a prime location for such issues.

Water leakages in your basement may occur due to several factors.

Hydrostatic pressure is a common culprit. This term refers to the pressure exerted by excess water in the soil on your basement walls and floor. During heavy rainfall, the soil surrounding your basement absorbs the excess water, increasing the hydrostatic pressure. If the pressure becomes too high, water can seep into your basement through existing cracks or crevices, no matter how small.

Once inside, the water can wreak havoc. Besides the obvious water damage to any items stored in your basement, consistent water flow can lead to mold and mildew growth, creating potential health hazards for you and your family. If the water reaches any electrical outlets, wiring, or appliances in your basement, it can pose a potential fire risk and cause costly damage.

Persistent water leakage suggests more significant problems with your home’s drainage system. For example, your gutters and downspouts may not be effectively directing water away from your foundation, or your sump pump might not function correctly.

In such cases, addressing the root cause is necessary to fix the leak and prevent future complications. This involves replacing your existing pipes with ones of the same material to ensure a watertight seal or installing a new sump pump.

Water leak in basement

Water Leak in Your Front Yard

Water leaks in your front yard are often indicative of a leaking pipe in your water supply line, potentially leading to high water bills and damaging your yard. If you notice a suspiciously lush patch of grass or a soggy area, it’s time to investigate.

Your front yard is crisscrossed by various pipes and lines transporting water to and from your home. The primary line, also known as the main water line, is particularly important as it delivers water from the municipal supply into your house. A leak in this line may lead to high water bills and damage to your yard.

Such leaks usually occur due to natural wear and tear, shifts in the ground, tree root intrusions, or a sudden, drastic change in temperature. A small crack or hole in the pipe can release a significant volume of water into your yard. This water causes soil erosion, creating a sinkhole or a swampy area.

The leak may be temporarily fixed by applying Epoxy Putty to the damaged pipe or using a pipe clamp for small leaks. However, digging up your front yard to reach a water pipe is a substantial job and may require professional assistance. A professional plumber will accurately locate the leak, minimize the damaged area, and provide a watertight repair, saving you time and money in the long run!

Water leak in yard

Water Leakage From Your AC

Normal water dripping from an AC unit is a common sight, especially during hot or humid days, when your AC is pulling in extra work. This is due to the process of condensation, where your AC unit extracts moisture from the air and expels it outside. You’ll usually see a steady but relatively small amount of water dripping from a pipe or drain outside your house, which is a sign of regular operation.

Several indicators can help distinguish between normal condensation and an actual water leak:

Water Volume

If you notice a puddle of water or a significant increase in the volume of water near your indoor unit, it may be a sign of a leak. In normal conditions, the condensation generated is not sufficient to create a visible puddle indoors.

Water Location

Condensation from an AC unit should be expelled outside your home via a condensate drain line. If you notice water inside your home, around the indoor unit, or in your drain pan under the unit, it’s a likely indication of a leak.

Continuous Dripping

If your AC unit is off, but you’re still seeing water dripping, this is a warning sign. Once the AC is turned off, there shouldn’t be any further condensation or dripping.

Presence of Ice

If you see ice forming on the AC unit, particularly on the evaporator coil, this could be a sign of a water leak. It can happen due to low refrigerant levels, poor airflow, or a malfunctioning component. As the ice melts, it can result in excess water leakage.

AC Performance

If your AC is not cooling as effectively as usual or the airflow feels limited, it might be due to a water leak affecting the AC’s functionality.

First, try unclogging the drain line with a wet/dry vacuum. If this doesn’t work or if the issue is with the condensate pump, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. Regular maintenance and professional inspections help prevent these leaks from occurring in the first place and ensure the longevity of your AC unit.

AC electrical panel

Leaking Copper Pipe

Copper pipes are commonly used in plumbing because of their durability, longevity, and resistance to rust. However, despite these positive qualities, copper pipes are not completely invulnerable to damage over time. Copper pipe leaks are often found in plumbing fixtures like bathroom sinks or under kitchen cabinets.

Copper does not rust like iron or steel, but it can corrode. When exposed to oxygen and water, copper can react and form a layer of green patina on its surface, similar to the green coating often seen on old copper pennies or the Statue of Liberty. This patina actually protects the underlying copper from further corrosion, unlike the rust on iron, which does not protect the underlying iron.

However, if copper pipes show signs of corrosion, there might be more underlying issues. Corrosion can lead to pinhole leaks over time, and small particles of corroded copper can break off and contaminate the water, which may give the water a metallic taste or a blue-green color.

While copper corrosion doesn’t pose a significant health risk, prolonged exposure to high levels of copper can cause health problems, including stomach distress and, in extreme cases, liver or kidney damage.

A copper pipe leak should be handled by a professional plumber, as the repair often involves cutting the damaged section and replacing it with a new pipe of the same diameter. They may use slip couplings to ensure watertight connections and prevent future leaks.

Leaking copper pipe

Ready to Safeguard Your Home Against Water Leakage? Start Now!

Water leaks might appear insignificant, but if left unchecked, they can quickly escalate into severe problems leading to significant structural damage. You might be tempted to handle minor leaks yourself, but these can be indicators of much bigger issues. Recruiting a professional is vital to provide a comprehensive, long-lasting solution.

PlumbingWurx, LLC, a family-owned business located at 1101 Opal Ct, Hagerstown, MD 21740, is your go-to expert for all plumbing issues, from sewer services to water heater installation and repair. We’ve been in business for years, offering a wealth of experience in residential and commercial plumbing scenarios. We are known for our top-tier workmanship and unmatchable customer service.
Don’t let those minor leaks turn into major headaches. Contact us today at (301) 264-7577 for your plumbing needs. Because at PlumbingWurx, LLC, we believe in action, quality, and peace of mind!

Contact us for a consultation today

Lean on the trusted expertise of your PlumbingWurx family at 1101 Opal Ct, Suite 101, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Contact us at (301) 264-7577 today!

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