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Posted July 17, 2012 by HomeOwnerOffers in Maintenance & Repairs
 
 

8 Tips to Prevent and Stop Plumbing Leaks



Few household problems are as costly, inconvenient and downright aggravating as water damage. Plumbing leaks are one of the leading causes of water damage, but they can be prevented and stopped with a few simple measures.

1. Find Your Home’s Main Water Shut-Off Valve

If you ever have a plumbing leak, you can quickly shut off the water at the main water shut-off valve. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it’s located and how to use it.

2. Install Individual Appliance Shut-Off Valves

In addition to the main shut-off valve, you can also install valves at individual appliances. This allows you to shut the water off to a leaky area while maintaining water flow to other parts of your home as you make repairs. Shut-off valves typically run $10 or less, plus installation costs.

3. Remove Outdoor Hoses in Winter

Detaching hoses from exterior spigots when cold weather rolls around will help prevent frozen pipes – a leading cause of leaks. You can also install frost-free bibs on outdoor spigots.

4. Insulate Your Pipes

When frozen pipes break, it can cause major flooding and water damage, not to mention costly repairs. One of the most effective ways to prevent this is to insulate your pipes, particularly those that run through unconditioned spaces like a garage, basement or crawl space. Pipe blankets and insulation tubes are inexpensive and simple to install.

5. Install a Flow Sensor

A flow sensor detects leaks and automatically shuts off the water, either to a specific appliance or your entire house. They generally cost around $75.

6. Avoid Overloading Sink Cabinets and Vanities

Overcrowding your cabinets can cause jostling to drains and water supply pipes, which can lead to loose connections and leaks down the road. Plus, drips will be easier to spot if your cabinets aren’t too crowded.

7. Don’t Use Exposed Pipes to Hang Things

It might seem harmless, but using exposed pipes as hanger rods for your laundry can loosen connections and fasteners, eventually leading to leaks. And if a leak does occur, you definitely don’t want all your clothes hanging from the pipe when it happens.

8. Fix Problems Quickly

Even the smallest drip can corrode pipes, causing them to leak more as time goes on. Small leaks can also cause a surprising amount of mold and water damage, so it’s wise to check for leaks periodically, and fix leaks quickly if you find any.

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