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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

The Myth of the “Small Leak” (No Such Thing!)

Lpipe-copper-leakingeaks are what most people think of when they hear about “plumbing problems.” (Well, that and clogged drains.) Leaking faucets are wastes of water that often go without repairs for far too long. But the truly harmful leaks are pipe leaks that occur out of sight around a home, behind walls, in the ceilings, etc.

All pipe leaks need to have the professional attention of a plumber in Irvine, CA as soon as a homeowner starts to notice the signs of leaking—water spots on the walls, higher water bills, changes in water pressure, higher humidity indoors, mold and mildew growth. Because there is no such thing as a “small” leak that can be ignored. A leak may not be large and send out geysers of water that can be immediately seen, but it can still create significant damage.

The Effects of Pipe Leaks

With less noticeable leaks across pipes, where water is only dripping out, the danger is from water accumulation and the difficulty noticing them. The leak can continue for weeks or months, slowly building up and causing damage without a homeowner sensing a problem until the damage has gotten extreme.

Water damage easily destroys building material such as drywall and creates damaging wood rot in wooden beams. The moisture allows for mold and mildew to grow, which can eat right through drywall and generally weaken building material and inflict serious structural damage. This is particularly harmful for leaks in the bathroom, where the floor can weaken and may cause collapse. Mold can release toxic spores and once it starts growing inside the walls or ceilings, it is difficult to remediate.

The cumulative loss of water can be massive as well, with hundreds of dollars wasted over the years because of multiple hidden leaks.

Pinhole Leaks

There is a specific type of pipe leak called pinhole leaks that is unfortunately common, and unfortunately hard to detect early. Pinhole leaks occur because of reactions along copper pipes with formaldehyde and other chemicals in the air. Copper is corrosion-resistant, but it is susceptible to formicary corrosion from these chemical reactions. This corrosion weakens a patch on the metal and creates tiny leaks the size of pinholes. This can occur in almost any home and even to pipes in good condition.

Detecting Leaks

Reading the above, you might wonder how you’ll be able to notice these leaks until they’re far advanced. One way is to pay close attention to your water bills and notice when water usage increases without a discernible reason. But the best way is to schedule occasional leak detection for your house with professional plumbers. We recommend you do this when you purchase a home, since the previous owner may have left behind a number of hidden leaks. It’s also a good idea to have the job done every four to five years, or possibly more frequently for homes older the 1970 which have antiquated plumbing. (Although in those cases it’s better to arrange for repiping for the home rather than to keep patching up leaks.)

Saddleback Plumbing has proudly served Orange County since 1981. Call us for leak detection and leak repair services.

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