What Leaks Are Most Common in the Home?

The Short Answer Is: The most common water leaks in homes often originate from plumbing fixtures and systems such as faucets, toilets, and pipes. Dripping faucets and running toilets are frequent culprits of water wastage and leaks. Other appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine, and humidifier can also spring a leak. It's essential to regularly inspect and maintain these areas to prevent and address any water leaks promptly.

Drip, drip, drip... There goes the water and money out of your pocket with each water leak in your home you don't fix.

Common household water leaks waste a great deal of water each year, resulting in higher utility expenses for homeowners. Not only are household water leaks bad for the environment, but they are also bad for your plumbing system and fixtures. Small household water leaks that are not resolved have the potential to cause further damage to your fixtures, and serious water damage throughout your Indianapolis home, depending on the leak’s location.

The Indianapolis plumbers of Mr. Plumber want our customers to be aware of common household water leaks that could be lurking in their homes. In this blog, we discuss a few of the common household water leaks that seem to pop up more, as well as what to do and how to avoid them.

The List of Common Household Water Leaks

The average home wastes between 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water each year due to common household water leaks. Even on the low end, this is still a significant waste of water!

Stopping common household water leaks is imperative to water conservation, keeping your utility bills under control, and sparing your home from serious water damage. Be aware of these common water leak locations and how to spot them.

Washing Machine Leaks

Laundry rooms are the second highest water users in the average Indianapolis household, behind a bathroom only. Washing machines use anywhere from 5 to 45 gallons of water per load, depending on the model in your home.

Common household water leaks that stem from washing machines involve ruptured water supply hoses. The hoses that lead from your spigots to the washing machine can become brittle and prone to damage over time, leading one to form a small leak through a crack or suddenly bust open. A washing machine hose leak has the potential to dump up to 500 gallons of water into your home each hour.

Prevent these common household water leaks by inspecting hoses every few months and replacing them every five years, at minimum. It’s a smart idea to purchase high-quality hoses made of more durable material than the stock hoses that come with your washing machine.

Look for the following signs of these common household water leaks:

  • Damage to the hoses: Blisters, cracks, bubbles, discoloration, or signs of unraveling mean the hose needs replacement ASAP.

  • Leaks: You may not see an actual drip, but look for moisture at the connections to the spigots and washing machine. Rust and discoloration on or around the hoses also indicate potential leaks.

  • Hose position: Kinks in a washing machine hose can cause leaks at the fold. Sometimes when washing machines go off-balance, they move and can reposition or pinch the hoses. If you see kinks or crimps in the hose, replace it.

  • Surrounding conditions: Don’t just look at the hoses, but look at the area around it for signs of a hose leak. Wet spots on the surrounding walls as well as mold or mildew growth in the area point to water leaks.

Water Heater Leaks

Water heaters are another frequent source of household water leaks in the Indianapolis area. Often, leaks occur when a tank model water heater is reaching the end of its useful service life. For tank water heaters, this is typically in the 10 to 15-year range, though poor maintenance throughout the years reduces life expectancy.

When water heater tanks age, they start to rust and corrode. The constant heating of water and sediment in the tank causes small cracks that slowly leak water – this is much less noticeable than a catastrophic water heater failure that dumps hundreds of gallons of water into your home.

Prevent these common household water leaks with annual maintenance and regular inspection of your water heater. Look for puddled water in the area surrounding your water heater – if you cannot trace it to another nearby source, the water heater is your likely culprit.

Toilet Leaks

Toilets are another spot where common household water leaks occur. Unfortunately, a leaking toilet often goes unnoticed because the leak is out of view, within the inner components of the toilet. Leaks through the overflow tube occur if water level in the tank is too high, which may be caused by damage to the float or refill valve.

Leaks in a toilet’s flapper valve are another spot where common household water leaks concerning toilets occur. The flapper opens and closes to flush the toilet – it opens to allow water to exit the tank into the bowl and closes to seal the tank and allow it to refill. Damage to the flapper valve causes a leak.

Detect flapper valve leaks with a simple dye test. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the toilet tank. Do not flush the toilet. Check the bowl within 10 minutes – if the color has reached the bowl, the flapper valve has a leak. Replace the flapper – if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, call us and we will handle it!

Sink Leaks

Another one of the common household water leaks reported by Indianapolis homeowners is leaking water underneath sinks. If your sink sits on top of a cabinet, it’s likely that you store toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other items underneath. Household water leaks underneath sinks are commonly caused by under-the-sink storage. Items get moved around and hit against the drain piping, causing damage.

Faucets contain washers and gaskets that wear out over time. When they do, they form one of the most common household water leaks: a dripping faucet. A leak of one drip per second causes more than 3,000 gallons of water waste in a year’s time.

Fixing these common household water leaks involves taking apart the faucet and replacing the gaskets or washers that have failed. You’ll need to know what type of faucet you have – there are many online tutorials to show you how to do this simple plumbing repair. The faucet must be reassembled correctly to prevent additional leaking – if you are not comfortable performing this repair, please leave it to the pros to protect against further water waste!

Humidifier Leaks

Many homes in the Indianapolis area are equipped with whole-home humidifiers to supply the home with much needed moisture in the air during winter months. These units have their own dedicated water supply line, which prevents the need for a homeowner to refill the water reservoir on a regular basis.

Most whole home humidifiers have an overflow drain connected to the home’s sewer lines. This way, water is able to drain directly into the sewer line instead of out of the unit if the equipment’s refill valve fails to close and stop water flow. While this is good to prevent water damage, it is bad in terms of water waste – since the wastewater is directed right into the sewer, it goes unnoticed for months in many cases.

Prevent common household water leaks involving your whole home humidifier with regular HVAC system maintenance. Your humidifier should be inspected and serviced every fall prior to the start of heating season, along with your home’s heating system. You should also inspect the whole home humidifier monthly over the winter to help you find leaks if they exist. Turn off the humidifier’s water supply when seasons change and you no longer need to use it for the coming months.

Water Supply Line Leaks

While it’s not actually in your home, water supply line leaks are common sources of household water leaks. This line transports water from your private well or utility water mains to your home. They are often hard to detect because the line is buried three feet or more underground.

These common household water leaks require the help of a skilled plumber to pinpoint and correct. There are some signs you should watch for in and around your home that point to a water supply line leak:

  • Unusual Wet Spots in Your Yard
  • A Patch of Land That Is Soft, Green, Moldy, or Mossy, and It’s Surrounded by Drier Land
  • Sinkholes
  • Cracks and Heaving in Pavement
  • Significant Drop in Home Water Pressure and Flow Volume
  • Foundation Cracks
  • Uneven Flooring
  • Leaning Structure

There are also some sounds that point to these common household water leaks in pressurized, buried water supply lines:

  • Whooshing or Hissing
  • Splashing or the Sound of a Babbling Brook
  • Clinking

Combat Common Water Leaks with Mr. Plumber

Whenever you need plumbing help, whether it be a minor drip or a major leak, call Mr. Plumber right away. We are here to help you protect your Indianapolis area home and prevent serious damage. Our licensed plumbers are available around the clock to perform plumbing repairs in the event of an emergency situation. Call us today for quick and reliable plumbing repair!

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