Plumbing Leaks: Causes and Prevention

Plumbing leaks can lead to significant damages and costs. Maintenance can help you prevent most of them, but it is usually not so straightforward.

You’ll have to put in some efforts and follow our checklist for preventing pipe leakages. But before that, let us first review the most common causes that can damage your pipes.

Understanding them will help you prevent them, thereby increasing the life of your plumbing system.

Causes of Pipe Leakages

Advanced Corrosion

Pipes don’t last forever, but you can definitely increase their life by ensuring that you use quality materials for your plumbing system. Pipes often corrode away and rust as time passes. This damages them and paves the way for leakages and small openings through which water can flow out.

Generally, your plumbing system is at high risk if your pipes are more than 30 years old. The material used in those days was more prone to corrosion than advanced substances of today. Also, if the chemicals and minerals in your home water are high or the pH levels are unbalanced, then your pipes are more like to corrode sooner.

Degraded Seals

Degraded seals are one of the most common causes of pipe leakages . Seals are used wherever individual pipe pieces have to be connected to each other or to a fixture. These are usually made from rubber and fixed tightly in place. But like pipes, these seals also wear out with time. If they crack or crumble, water may escape through.

If the seals are too old or too dry, they are susceptible to corrosion.

Water Pressure

Greater water pressure is preferred when you’re under the shower. But inside your residential plumbing system, the pressure must be restricted. When water hits too hard against the pipe walls, they can get damaged, eventually leading to bursts and explosions. If the pressure is only slightly above the recommended range, then the fixtures may leak occasionally, especially after you turn off the faucets and stop water flow. Should you note this, call upon professional plumbers who’ll test the water pressure and bring it back to a preferable value.

Fixture Cracks

Directly connected faucets and pipes are more prone to cracking, resulting in immediate leaks. These cracks are caused by impact, like a person tripping against them or an object being thrown at them. In some cases, they may also develop at places where the pipes aren’t easily visible such as below the sink.  So, for instance, if you stack items in the sink cabinet, you wouldn’t know their impact on the pipes until the damage increases. Regular inspection and maintaining moderate pressures can help you prevent the issue.

Pipe Laying

Incorrectly installed fixtures and lines are also common causes of pipe leakages . This happens when you try to make plumbing repairs by yourself. Instead, leave the job to licensed professionals because you wouldn’t have the tools they use or be aware of the procedures that they deploy. Incorrectly laid pipes can cause serious leaks and plumbing emergencies. The mistake on your part might have seemed small, but you may not come to know unless extensive water damage has incurred.

Water flows against gravity through the pipes in many places, so they must be laid properly. Backflow devices have to be set up where needed and fixtures must be installed with great care to prevent unwanted leakages.

Joint Damage

Pipe joints and bends comprise of several straight and curved pipe pieces that are usually connected together using fittings. These are often vulnerable to damage, especially if temperatures or the water pressure inside the pipes rise.  But the good thing is that before anything becomes too big of an issue, you are warned through certain signs like abnormal noises and gurgling, especially if hot water is turned on. So if you hear any clanking or banging, ask a plumber to inspect the pipes.

Shifted Connections

The piping network running through your home may shift sometimes due to structural or foundational issues, flooding, erosion and quakes. If the shifts are too far away, the pipes will break resulting in leakages. Should a storm or another natural disaster strike, observe your plumbing network for usual signs and symptoms such as lower water pressure, noises and discolored water.

Untreated Clogs

Drain clogs aren’t only an inconvenience, but they can also result in plumbing issues. If your drains are blocked because of chemicals, then their corrosive nature can damage the pipes. Generally, these substances don’t clear clog, and instead, continue to sit in your pipes, which can cause issues in the long run.

Preventing Pipe Leakages


Insulate your pipes, especially if the winter turns too cold. This is particularly for pipes that are outside your home and are likely to freeze.


Inspect your plumbing network regularly or call upon professional plumbers to do so. Many times, a quick view will notify you if something is wrong with your pipes. Small holes, rusts or loose fittings are common causes of pipe leakages and are often spotted during a thorough inspection.

And by the way, don’t just inspect the pipes, but examine the fixtures and faucets as well. Kitchen sinks are more prone to leakages, especially if they often get clogged.

Hose Bib

Installing frost free hose bibs is recommended, especially if your plumbing pipes pass through the cement. This fixture lets you shut off water supply closer to the walls, which may prevent the pipes from freezing.

Inspect the radiator’s pitch and ensure that it’s pitched towards the steam source. Now, if water condenses, it will drain back towards the boiler.


Worn out washers are usually not effective. So replace them if you notice a defect.

Regular inspection is the cue to preventing pipe leakages . Schedule a session with A -Team Draining and Plumbing today.