Leaking Pipes: Causes and Fixes

Posted on December 27th, 2021 by carrolladmin

No one wants to hear it, but a leak in your plumbing can be costly. In addition to the repair bill, leaks can cause other issues such as water damage and mold. A pervasive leak can even drive up the cost of your utilities. 

It is important to be proactive and keep an eye out for leaks and potential causes of future leaks. There are many different possible causes of leaking pipes, as well as possible fixes and solutions.

This guide will cover the obvious (and not so obvious) signs that your pipes may be leaking, the most common reasons for leaks, and what you can do about them.

    1. Clogged Pipes
    2. Water Pressure Issues
    3. Tree Roots
    4. Foundation Shifts
    5. Weather
    6. Corrosion

Causes of Leaking Pipes #1: Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes are a very common reason for plumbing leaks. These clogs are most often caused by household plumbing mistakes such as flushing things down your toilet that should never be flushed or not using a drain strainer at your kitchen sink. This is why prevention is so important. 

Whatever the cause, the best remedy for a clogged plumbing system is not what you might think. Chemical drain cleaning products often make the situation worse. The best solution is to use a tool such as a snake or an auger to safely remove the entire clog at its source. 

In addition to potentially causing cracks or ruptures at the drain, untreated clogs can also increase your water pressure and put a strain on your pipes throughout the system. Addressing clogged pipes immediately is key to avoiding a bigger problem.

Causes of Leaking Pipes #2: Water Pressure Issues

High water pressure is notorious for causing pipe damage and water leaks. 

Your water pressure should ideally sit between 40 and 85 psi. If you have a water leak that is caused by high pressure, you will need to adjust the pressure in addition to replacing the broken piping. A professional can help you find ways to regulate the pressure in your system to prevent future issues.

Causes of Leaking Pipes #3: Tree Roots

Surprisingly, one of the most common causes of plumbing leaks can be the trees in your yard. As tree roots grow and spread out over time, they can cause irreversible damage to your pipes. 

This type of leak may not be noticeable at first, as it often takes place only underground. If your water bill is higher than usual or you are experiencing low water pressure, it could be a sign that your plumbing system has become affected by a nearby root system. 

You may also notice pools of standing water in your yard as moisture seeps out from your pipes into the ground. If this is the cause of your water leak, you may need to relay your pipes and remove some of the surrounding trees. A professional can help pinpoint the problem.

Causes of Leaking Pipes #4: Foundation Shifts

Similarly, changes in your home’s foundation over time can damage your pipes and cause both major and minor water leaks. When your home’s foundation moves, cracks, or settles, your water lines can burst or become disconnected.

These leaks may be slow and sneaky as they are often underground. In this case, water pressure problems and unexpectedly high water bills are red flags of a deeper issue.

If you suspect that your home’s foundation may be causing a plumbing problem, you will likely need to hire an experienced professional to assess the situation and the likelihood of any further future damage. You may need to relay your pipes and take steps to stabilize your foundation.

Causes of Leaking Pipes #5: Weather

Drastic temperature changes, such as during a hard freeze, can cause significant and irreversible damage to your pipes. This is why conventional wisdom is to temporarily shut off your water at the source and drain your pipes ahead of bad weather such as a winter storm.

If you experience a leak due to temperature changes, this will often cause your pipes to burst, resulting in serious damage not only to your pipes but also to your home. When your leak is this major, you will likely need to replace the section(s) of your plumbing that burst. This is another area where prevention is extremely important and can save you a pretty penny on repairs.


Causes of Leaking Pipes #6: Corrosion

Over time, mineral buildup can corrode your pipes, leading to costly leaks. The older your plumbing is, the more likely you are to have issues with rust and corrosion. If you have hard water, you are even more likely to experience pipe corrosion. It is important to look for signs such as increased water pressure or restricted water flow that can lead to corroded pipes.

If this is the issue you are dealing with, often the only remedy is to replace your aging pipes with a new plumbing system. Though you may have a higher upfront cost, new pipes can save you money in the long run and increase your home’s property value.

Let Us Help You Address the Causes of Leaking Pipes 

Sometimes homeowners can deal with minor plumbing problems on their own. However, if the issue becomes more complex than you originally anticipated, or you have attempted to fix the problem multiple times with no lasting solution, it may be time to call in a professional.

When you need an expert for Richmond plumbing maintenance and repair, look no further than Carroll Plumbing & Heating. We are here to help you with your plumbing leaks, repairs, and remodeling projects. Contact us today for your quick plumbing fix!

And if you want some additional tips to prevent these issues from happening, check out these tips on our site.


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Great job replacing sink faucet.
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Carroll Plumbing & Heating came through for me in an emergency. I called for help when my home warranty company couldn't send out a plumber right away. I had a busted hot water tank in my attic and was leaking water through my ceiling. I had a real emergency and they came within 30 mins. The Techs got in my attic cut off the gas to the tank and water. Then they drained the water. It was a hard job due to the tight area in my attic. The were very professional and knowledgeable. The also wore their masks. I would recommend them to anyone. I give them an "A" plus. Thanks to them guys at Carroll.
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Had an extremely poor experience with another plumbing company in Richmond and was sick of dealing with trying to get in contact with their "managers." My roommate found Carroll online and I called for an appointment. The receptionist that answered was very nice and seemed to know exactly who to send me to for immediate assistance, rather than have me play phone tag with multiple departments.A kind man named Bruce was over to diagnose the issue, walk me through the repair and how our aged heating system worked, and think of a creative solution that saved me over $500 off the total bill with a fair invoice that detailed the work demands and parts used--all in the same day. They may be a little pricey, but I was incredibly impressed with their speed, customer service, and attentiveness to the intricacies of aged baseboard radiators. I've never worked with any other home service companies who were willing to quote a new and innovative solution for a typically expensive repair. Keep up the great work!
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I called this company due to an emergency that I had. My pipes burst and I had no heat or hot water and it was 14 degrees outside. Bruce was extremely helpful, kind and quick to solve the problem. They came out quickly, gave a reasonable estimate and stayed until they were assured the problem was fixed. Dave was a great help, along with the other gentleman who helped him. I will definitely use this company in the future and will recommend them to anyone with heating and plumbing needs! They are knowledgeable, have excellent customer service, and helped me out tremendously when I needed them. A+ job!
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