WHERE DO HIDDEN WATER LEAKS COME FROM? UNFORTUNATELY, EVERYWHERE.
We created the SimpleSENCE Water Leak and Freeze Detector for a very (pardon the pun) simple reason: detect hidden water leaks that would otherwise go unnoticed before they can cause considerable damage to your home and property. That’s it.
And frankly, that’s reason enough, when you consider the cost of repairing the damage that can be caused by hidden water leaks. In fact, According to Home Advisor, the average homeowner spends between $1,236 and $5,317 to restore or repair water damage, with the average being $3,272.
Of course, all costs vary depending on a variety of factors, but one of the most significant is when the leak is hidden. When you can easily see a leak, you can at least take immediate action to repair and restore. But what is the leak is hidden from view? Even the smallest leak, undetected, can do serious damage before it’ ever noticed.
That’s why the original SimpleSENCE – and its descendant, the Capteur – are such valuable (albeit inexpensive) assets, as they can locate leaks before damage becomes too extensive and your anger level reaches danger levels.
Now, it’s not that we don’t want to sell SimpleSENCE units. We do. In fact, we would be lying if we said we didn’t want to sell very large numbers of them. Still, in the interest of the public good, we’d like to highlight the eight most common causes of water leaks – many of which can cause the hidden leaks that wreak so much havoc.
One of the best ways to protect your home from leaks is to understand and look for common situations that cause leaks to develop. If you pay attention to these common warning signs, you may be able to avert one or more water leaks before they occur. (Of course, we still recommend that you purchase some SimpleSENCE units as a safety net in case you miss any of these signs. The peace of mind alone is worth it.)
When your appliances were installed, the contractor put seals around all water connectors. Seals also appear in other places, such as on your dishwasher door. As your appliances age, the seals can break or wear out. If you notice condensation on your appliance or puddles near the appliance, you may have a broken seal that needs replacing.
Many clogged drains simply cause inconvenience. Some clogs, however, can lead to overflowing or burst pipes – possibly in places that you don’t see on a regular basis. For example, obstructions in air handler drain pans or in your gutters can lead to serious water damage. Keep your gutters and HVAC system clean to prevent serious clogs.
As your plumbing system ages, rust and other forms of corrosion may eat away at the pipes. If you notice any discoloration or warping on your pipes, have a plumber assess the damage right away. If you have an older plumbing system, consider replacing the pipes that appear to be at the highest risk of corrosion.
DAMAGED PIPE JOINTS
Where your pipes connect often represents the weakest point in a line. Over time, these pipe joints can deteriorate, causing leaks – many of them hidden from view. (Unfortunately, most pipe joints aren’t easily visible.) If you have noisy pipes that make a ticking or banging noise, especially when you turn on the hot water, chances are that your pipe joints are under significant pressure. Have a plumber evaluate your system once a year to ensure that the pressure is at the proper level.
EXCESS WATER PRESSURE
High water pressure may feel nice, but excessive or uneven pressure can strain your pipes and not just the joints. Most pipes and faucets can only withstand up to a specific level of water pressure; even the slightest extra pressure can be the last piece of the puzzle in creating a significant leak. If you feel concerned about your water pressure, have a professional perform a measurement.
INTRUDING TREE ROOTS
Some of the most common water leaks actually start outside your home rather than inside. For example, tree roots can intrude on water lines, causing moisture to seep out into your yard. If you notice any new wet patches or sinkholes in your yard, experience a sudden drop in water pressure, or have trees growing very close to your home, have a plumber check for intrusion.
LOOSE WATER CONNECTORS
Sometimes the hoses and pipes that supply your appliances with water become loose, causing a leak. Often, loose water connectors occur due to shifting. For example, your washing machine hose may spring a leak due to shaking during the spin cycle. If you have a water connector leak, you may notice water running directly from the supply line or forming puddles around the appliance.
RAPID TEMPERATURE CHANGES
Unexpected extreme temperature changes in your pipes can force the pipes to expand and contract. This expansion and contraction may crack the pipes, especially when caused by freezing temperatures. (Did we mention that SimpleSENCE is also a freeze detector?)
There’s no question that our SimpleSENCE units (including Capteur) can save you money, headaches, and frustration. But even with the units in place, a little diligence up front can be an extra layer of protection against one of the most expensive – and aggravating – home repairs you will ever undertake.