Many homes in some areas of San Diego, specifically the Hillcrest area, were built in the early 1900s. Owning a historic home is a chance to own a piece of history in your neighborhood. Although these homes are beautiful and unique, they are a lot of work. Few consider the responsibility that comes with purchasing and maintaining these old homes. It’s inevitable that old pipes leak over time, but there are many precautions you can take to increase the longevity of your pipes. Doing so will prevent pipe leaks that can cause water damage from happening in your priceless home.
Here are some tips to prevent plumbing leaks in your home:
Look For Common Signs To Prevent Pipe Leaks
There are many tell-tale signs you can look for to prevent water damage before it happens. Some easy, quick, preventative measures are simply looking for areas with undesired moisture. Also check for discoloration in different parts of your home. Two of the most common areas where water damage occur is the kitchen sink and laundry room.
Kitchen Sink: Periodically run your finger under the trap beneath the sink. If you detect moisture, use pliers to tighten the fittings. Do not try to adjust the fittings if any damage or corrosion is apparent! If you find damage in of your fittings, replace it immediately! Be sure to check the water lines under the sink for any bubbling at the connection points. In addition check any other lines where water connections are in place. These lines include the dishwasher and the ice maker.
Laundry Room: Make it a habit to check the hot and cold water lines that are connected to your washing machine. If there are any signs of corrosion, damage, or significant wear, it is best to replace them to prevent pipe leaks. As a safety precaution, replace hoses every three to five years regardless of their outside appearance. It is also a good idea to consider installing either a manual shut-off valve or electronic water sensor if your home does not already have them. Manual shut-off valves allow you to easily turn off the hot or cold water in the event of a leak. Electronic water sensors automatically shut off water when they detect excessive moisture or any potential leaks.
Reduce Water Pressure
As nice as high-pressure showers can be in the morning to wake you up, they take a toll on your water pipes over time. The stress from high-pressure water flowing through your pipes can break them down over time, increasing the possibility of a water leak that could cause large amount of damage in your home, depending on where the pipe leak occurs.
It is important to measure the psi of the water you are using. Water pressure that is too high is more likely to cause pipe leaks. Purchase of hose bib gauge at your local hardware store for about $10 and attach it to a spigot outside your home. Once you turn on the water, the gauge will measure the psi of your water. Normal pressure should be around 40 to 85 psi. If your water registers at anything higher than 85psi we advice that you call a plumber. Inform the plumber of your situation and ask them to install a pressure reducer to your water system. This will decrease the stress on your pipes and decrease the risk of water damage.
Soften Your Water
Ever seen white, crusty build up near your water faucets or in your shower? This is known as “hard” water. Hard water deposits occur due to naturally occurring minerals in water (such as magnesium or calcium) and leave a rough residue on faucets or areas that have water on them. In addition to building up in visibly wet areas, these minerals can also cause build up inside of pipes and limit water flow in pipes, increasing the pressure.
The amount of hard water that occurs in homes varies depending on the location of the home. Every municipality is required to file an annual water report with the EPA. Always be sure to check the amount of hard water in the area before purchasing a home. It is also beneficial to check if your home has a water softener installed for home in areas with high hard water content. If you find yourself having issues with hard water effecting your pipes and faucets, you may want to consider installing a water softener.
There are two types of water softeners. Plumbers can install traditional, sodium-based water softeners and range from $500 – $1,500. A cheaper alternative would be to install an Electronic unit. Electronic units cost around $150. Keep in mind electronic units can only be installed if pipes do not need to be opened.
Pipe leaks are not unique to that of historic homes, either. We suggest that all homeowners always keep a close eye on their home’s pipes. Periodically check connections to ensure there is no threat to home water damage. Most water restoration jobs we respond to in San Diego are issues that could have potentially been prevented had the homeowner noticed the signs before the leak happened. Of course, if a pipe leak happens and water floods your home, we’re here to help! Certified Restoration responds to all water damage jobs 24/7 and will arrive at your house quickly to assess the damage. We promise to help you as best we can in your time of need.