Small Plumbing Leaks Lead To Big Problems

29 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you're lying in bed at night being kept awake by the drip… drip… drip of the faucet in the bathroom, that small leak probably seems like a big deal. But it's too easy, once daylight rolls around, to forget about the problem. And if your leaky faucet is too far away to keep you up at night, you might not think about it at all.

But even small leaks like this can have serious consequences. It's important that you not put off fixing even seemingly minor plumbing problems; consider the possible repercussions of just living with your leaky tap.

Limescale Deposits

If you have hard water in your home, that means there are large amounts of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water. When hard water evaporates, it leaves these minerals behind in chalky deposits that are called limescale.

A dripping faucet or showerhead causes a small pool of water to constantly form and evaporate. This evaporating water, if hard, will lead to limescale rings in sinks, showers, and tubs; cleaning these up can be a real pain.

But a more serious problem can occur if small amounts of dripping water are making their way down the drain. A dripping faucet will not create enough water to flush through the drain completely; instead, a trickle of water in the drain will evaporate before making it all the way through the system. This means limescale buildup within the drain itself, over time can lead to slow drains and even mineral clogs.

Humidity and Mold

While evaporating hard water can lead to limescale, any evaporating water in your home can raise the indoor humidity. High bathroom and kitchen humidity is one of the reasons why mold and mildew so often grow in these rooms; a leaking tap only makes this problem worse. In a room or home with high humidity, mold can become a recurring problem, cleaned up only to grow back again and again.

Wasted Water

Since the water usually drips out of a faucet slowly, it's easy to think that you're not wasting much water. But those drips, of course, add up; the U.S. Geological Survey provides a calculator that shows exactly how much water you're losing. One faucet, dripping only once per minute, wastes 34 gallons of water a year; increase the drip speed to once per second, and 2,082 gallons are wasted.

Now consider that there are many homes out there with leaky faucets, each one wasting gallons of water. How much might be wasted in a whole town or city? The more water is wasted, the higher the cost of your water will be. Even if you have free municipal water, that only means that your town is paying for the water – a cost that will be passed on to residents in other ways such as taxes. For both your pocketbook and the environment, it would be much better to have such leaky faucets fixed quickly.

To learn more, contact a plumbing company like C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning