When it comes to your common household appliances and fixtures, it seems almost inevitable that there may come a time when a leak will occur. While that is a possibility, it’s important to take precautions to fix the current problem and stop future water damage from happening. When small issues are ignored, there can be a domino effect of other issues looming that can affect you and your home.
Fixing household water leaks can also save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. Not to mention, preventing future water leaks and water damage can save families a lot of money on home repair expenses.
The EPA recently reported that minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes which is equivalent to the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry! Common types of leaks found in the home include both common appliances and fixtures, which are explained in more detail below. All are easily correctable.
What does it mean when the washer is leaking from the bottom? If you’ve seen any water leakage either the front or in the back after a wash cycle, this may mean you need to drain the water in the drain hose / water supply tube. This happens in both top-loading and front-loading washing machines. You can also refer to and carefully follow the manufacturer instructions for this process.
There can be several issues that cause a leak from your dishwasher. The door may be improperly attached, a leaky tub from corrosion and standing water, or broken valves.
Or, there may be simpler solutions such as using a different detergent, or not overfilling your dishwasher. Either way water damage can occur if these issues aren’t quickly resolved.
To prevent further water damage from happening, such as damage to wooden cabinets and floors, it’s important to detect the exact location of the problem. Make sure to check if your appliance is still under warranty before you begin repairs.
It may be a good idea to shut off the water and check the drain pan underneath your fridge. It’s normal for the pan to have a slight amount of water, but if you are noticing a small pooling of water there may be a bigger issue and a technician can inspect the situation. Ignoring the situation could cause your kitchen floor to warp or lift and create a bigger expense later on.
Also, check to see if the fridge is level, as well as the defrost drain for a possible blockage, and the water supply line. If you find a leak behind the fridge, you may need to replace the plastic hose connected to the refrigerator.
As the electric water heaters heat up, it builds up the pressure inside the tank, which is slowly released by the safety valve. A damaged valve or faulty tank could be the issue, causing a potential flood or dangerous combustion.
If your water heater floods, you’ll find yourself ankle-deep in water that’s quickly soaking into your floorboards and creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. In a situation involving a water heater, it’s always best to contact a technician who specializes in these systems.
Clogged air filters are the most common source of a leak in air conditioning systems. When your air filter is dirty, air cannot pass through as easily, which causes the evaporator coils to freeze up. The ice can eventually melt and create condensation on air ducts that could lead to larger damages in your home.
When the coils freeze, this leads to potential problems for your compressor. If you notice a frozen evaporator coil, turn the unit off immediately and do not turn it on again until the cause of the problem is remedied. Avoid frozen evaporator coils by replacing your air filter every 30-90 days and avoid covering any air vents or registers. Cracked drain pan or a clogged drain line are also possible issues causing a leak.
With smaller fixtures like a sink, there are easy ways to fix the issue. Yet, if you notice water starting to affect the surrounding surfaces as well water damage could ensue. Wood shelving, cabinets, countertops, and floors are all at risk and begin to warp, crack, and rot from the continuous dripping of water.
Structural damage from water leaks can decrease the value of your home. It’s best to make the investment and solve the issue quickly with the help from a specialist when the problem has become a major issue.
Another easy fix can be to unclog the shower head by soaking it in white vinegar. This helps to remove dirt and debris that may be affecting your water pressure flow. You may also need to replace an older rubber washer with a new one, clean or replace the diverter or cartridge valve.
The most common toilet leak and often hardest to detect. This is caused by either a deteriorated or defected flush valve ball at the bottom of the toilet tank or an improperly adjusted or broken ballcock valve. If the flapper or ball valve does not seat properly and form a watertight seal, water will leak around it into the toilet bowl.
Often, this leak will occur without being heard. If the float is set too high and if the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube, this type of leak can be seen by simply taking the tank top off and observing if the water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full.
Water Damage Prevention
To prevent water damage from your appliances and fixtures, be sure to check nearby walls, corners and flooring to see where the water has traveled. If water has traveled near electrical circuits, then turn off the power, and use towels to dry off the areas thoroughly.
If your fixture or appliance is located in more of a damp, humid area, it;s a good idea to use a dehumidifier. This machine helps to reduce moisture and may help to prevent or reduce chances of mold growth in the areas that were affected by the leak.
Contact the Professionals
It’s important to keep your home leak-free by repairing your fixtures and appliances when you can. However, if you’ve thoroughly checked any of the above issues and still aren’t seeing any improvements, it may be time to further protect your home and call for professional repair.
Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances. In most cases, replacement parts don’t require a major investment; but in case of any larger leaks or any water damage, be sure to contact Jenkins Restoration for your water damage restoration needs.