Leak vs. Leek

When you ask most folks if “they know anything about leaks?” most will ask, “you mean like a plumbing leak?” Or they could say, “you mean like a water main leak?”

Yet if you ask a cook, chef, or someone in food service that might say “Leeks? Yea, they’re great; especially in Potato and Leek soup.” YUM! Leeks can find their way into all kinds of dishes from all over the World. From your most basic salads to the famous Vichyssoise. The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales and is a heavy influence of much its cuisine. The Bible contains several references made to leeks being in abundance in ancient Egypt. Emperor Nero consumed leeks in excessive amounts in hopes that it would strengthen his voice, make him a great orator. Now while they are bloviating about the wonders of this garlicky, chive-like plant you have a pin-hole leak slowly filling your cabinet underneath your bathroom sink with water.

Now, much like veggie leeks around the globe, a plumbing leak can pop-up just about anywhere around your home. And there are several ways to go about looking and checking for leaks.

plumbing leakDETECTION DEVICES FOR A PLUMBING LEAK

  • Several devices on the market can help you find the plumbing leak . A moisture reader helps to determine if there’s moisture in your walls which may have be the result of a leak behind the wall. Infrared cameras are also capable to help locate hot or cold areas that may be the result of moisture. You can purchase either of these at your local hardware or home improvement store.
  • Installing a flow sensor or fluid switch can help not only detect leaks but help to isolate the issue without having to cut off water to other areas of your property.
  • Specialized audio devices can also locate leaks behind solid walls or underneath concrete flooring. The process involves pushing air through pipes then the device finds where the air is seeping out from. This is most likely the origin of your leak.

HOW TO PREVENT LEAKS

  • If it’s notably colder in the winter in your area, disconnecting the hoses from your outdoor faucets can help prevent cracks forming in your pipes. Also for colder areas, adding pipe insulation for areas like basements, detached garages, or any exposed piping can help prevent pipes from freezing and cracking. With pipe insulation costing as low as .30-.40 cents a foot this can be a great cost-effective measure to save even more time and money down the road.
  • Keeping spaces underneath your kitchen and bathroom sink clear can also help prevent leaks. Often objects in a crowded cabinet beneath a sink can knock pipes around and loosen connectors and seals. Also, if there is a slight leak, objects underneath may block your view of your pipes and often a small leak that would be easily visible doesn’t become noticed until there’s a small puddle in your cabinet.
  • If you’ve ever disconnected any pipes in and around your property, it’s imperative that not only are they reconnected properly but that you use the appropriate compound and/or tape. Joints, connectors, and threading may still leak if not dressed properly before installing.

SLAB FOUNDATION LEAKS

  • Plumbing leak in large concrete slabs can make it very difficult to address issues with your plumbing. Whether it’s finding pipes or accessing sewer lines, the repairs done inside a large chunk of concrete can be time-consuming, costly, and cumbersome.
  • Now if you have a slab foundation it can be difficult to know if you have an issue and when you do realize, it’s often too late. So unless you get a clue of the leak before any substantial damage you’re basically waiting for it to reveal itself.
  • In areas where earthquakes, flooding, and/or powerful storms are common, you should be testing your foundation for structural integrity frequently. Your local plumbing professional should be able to perform these types of test. They can also test your foundation prior to other types of repairs.
  • Getting a slab leak detection test before purchasing home is a great idea as well.

Always check to see if you home owner’s insurance includes water damage caused by pipes in your foundation. This may change the way you decide to attack repairs. Sometimes replacing old pipes in a slab may be cheaper than repairing old ones. In addition, if the old pipes have a crack now…they’ll probably crack again or in another area.

DIY SOLUTIONS FOR A PLUMBING LEAK

  • Turning off the main valve then switching off water to the problem area, if possible, should always be your first step. Once the water is off, turning on the faucet to remove any water left in the pipes is your next step.
  • If you’re going to tackle fixing any plumbing leak be ready for the worst possible scenario. Spillage, clogs, and possible further damaging pipes are possibilities so always start any job with the proper tools and equipment.
  • Most simple fixes can be handle with putty/ epoxy on a small leak. Sometimes a pipe may need complete removal. Depending on the prior installation, this can be as simple as buying a standard replacement or cutting out part of the pipe with a metal saw and soldering or welding in the new piece.

Now if the task seems a bit daunting and you aren’t sure if you doing it yourself is going to be cheaper contact Mitch Clemmons Plumbing. 562-242-3218

The pros at Mitch Clemmons Plumbing can give you a proper estimate that will not only explain the job-at-hand but a variety of ways to approach it. The plumbers at Mitch Clemmons Plumbing not only have decades of experience with a plumbing leak, leak detection and repairs but are continuously trained on the latest leak detection equipment.

The folks at Mitch Clemmons Plumbing are the very best at servicing leaks in your pipes and they have a great recipe for Braised Leeks too. Give em a call!