A plumbing leak causes a lot of damage. It's not only costly to make repairs, but your utility bills increase when you have a leak, causing you to spend even more. Left unrepaired, water damage also causes mold and mildew to grow in your home. This can be deadly to your health. It's important to watch for plumbing leaks, but preventing leaks before they happen is more effective in protecting your home and family. Here are some things you can do to minimize the damage.
Locate your turn-off valves in your home. Make sure you know where the main water shut off is, and have the equipment to turn it off when you do have a leak. Instead of having to worry about water destroying your property, you can quickly turn it off until the plumber comes to make repairs. If you don't have shut-off valves at individual fixtures and appliances, consider installing them so that if one piece of equipment goes down, you can shut off that site instead of the entire home.
You can install a flow sensor that will detect a leak and automatically shut off the water if one is sensed. There are flow sensors available for specific appliances as well as for your whole house. You will need a plumber to make this installation, but it can save you thousands of dollars by preventing water damage.
During the winter, remove outside hoses from the spigots. You can also install frost free hose bibs to your exterior spigots. If your spigot is perpendicular to your home, it is a frost free spigot. When it's extremely cold, leave the water on at night so that your pipes don't freeze. Install insulation on pipes to keep them from freezing. Pipe installation tubes are inexpensive and easily installed.
Inside your home, don't overload your sink cabinets. This bumps the pipes and drains, which loosens the connections. An overfilled cabinet also makes it hard to spot leaks and drips. Don't ever use your water pipes as hanger rods. If you notice loose connections, call your plumber before they break.
When you do have a plumbing leak, get it repaired quickly. Your pipes corrode faster when you have a leak, and even small leaks can cause significant water damage and mold. It pays to take time each month and check all of your faucets and drains for signs of leaks. Watch your utility bill, too. If it goes up without a reason, you may have a leak that has gone unnoticed.
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