Many of the causes of plumbing leaks are well-known. They include blocked drains, weather fluctuation, rodents and unusual items being poured down the drain. If you've checked for all the above issues, you may be pulling your hair out and wondering why your pipes still leak on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the list of items that may cause leaks isn't exhausted above. But knowing about some of the more uncommon causes can help you identify where the leak is coming from so you can fix it.
1. Air in the pipes
Air blockage is a rather common phenomenon, especially in older homes. However, most common air blockage issues arise from air seeping into the pipe cavity and preventing the flow of water. A less uncommon occurrence is when water enters the air chambers of your pipes. Air chambers serve the function of regulating pressure and maintaining a smooth flow of water.
In some cases, water may enter these air chambers and cause a wide range of complications. From blockages to leaks, waterlogged air chambers can be annoying to deal with. If your leaking pipes also cause low pressure and a banging sound, have your plumber check the pipes for waterlogged air chambers.
2. Uneven water pressure
Another issue that may cause leaks in your pipes is having uneven water pressure. Fluctuations in pressure may arise from an undersized or oversized plumbing system. For example, if the home was built to house 4 people, having more people showering, washing clothes or using the bathroom at the same time may result in an overwhelmed system. Low pressure in pipes could allow more air to seep in and eventually cause a blockage.
On the other hand, your pipes may experience high pressure. This often occurs when connected appliances (such as washing machines) use lots of water and exert pressure on nearby pipes. This is why you should have your appliances professionally installed. A plumber will ensure that water pressure is even and in line with your current infrastructure.
3. Connected appliances
Speaking of connected appliances, there are many different types of equipment that use water. From sprinklers to dishwashers and toilets, connected appliances may impact your pipes negatively if not installed appropriately. Think of sprinklers that are turned on for too long or toilets that are leaking. In such cases, pressure is exerted on your pipes, and they may eventually begin leaking.
4. Unstable piping
Smaller pipes within the home may also shake/vibrate as water flows through them. This is especially the case if such pipes haven't been secured against a stable surface. If the shaking causes your pipe to bang against a wall, floor or roof, the impact may cause your pipes to become physically damaged. Make sure that unstable pipes are securely fastened against a stable surface.