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Two Main Causes of Leaky Pipes – Maryland Plumbing

leaky pipeHave you ever had to deal with a leaky pipe? At Chesapeake Plumbing, we know that it can be a messy and sometimes tough business. Calling a professional is usually a good idea, although many people prefer DIY repairs. If you DIY, make sure you understand the cause of the leak, because otherwise you are creating a temporary fix.

 

So why do pipes leak?

1. Corrosion is the number one reason of leaky pipes. No metal pipe is 100% protected from corrosion; even the widely used copper pipes don’t last forever. Corrosion can occur on the entire inner surface of the pipe or only in certain areas, such as elbows and tees. There are several factors that affect corrosion:

    • Water chemistry and pH. Low pH can cause protective inner lining of the pipe to dissolve, which speeds up the corrosion. And so does the high oxygen content in the water, because it causes oxidation and degrades the metal.
    • The temperature of the water. As certified and licensed Maryland plumbers, we know from experience that hot water pipes corrode faster. The reason is simple: the hotter the water, the faster the oxidation process.
    • The velocity and pressure of the water in the pipe. Corrosion can occur when pipes are too narrow to support water flow and velocity produced by the circulation pump. Increased water pressure creates turbulence and washes off protective inner layer of the pipes, particularly in the spots where water changes direction.
    • Metals that pipes are made of. When you have pipes made of copper and steel come in contact with each other, the metals react and galvanic corrosion occurs.

2. Bad connections are also often responsible for leaks. A connection could have been improperly secured to begin with or could become loose over time due to water velocity and vibration. Either way, you are lucky if the connection slowly falls apart and you notice it in time. Otherwise, be prepared to call your local plumbers in AA county, Maryland, because a connection that suddenly bursts open requires immediate attention.

No matter what is the cause of your leaky pipe, it needs to be fixed! Most of the DIY methods, such as applying external solder or wrapping up the leaking part in rubber and securing with clamps, will provide a temporary solution. The problem might reoccur and the next time the damage can be more serious.

Even if you think you fixed your leaky pipe, it’s important to consult with a plumber and get a professional opinion. We know how to inspect the pipes, and we might discover that a replacement of portions or entire piping system is necessary. We can also advise you how to balance your water’s pH and mineral content to prolong the life of your pipes.