Skip navigation

Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning

Proudly Serving Orange County Since 1981


Fast Professional Service

  • City Services - Irvine's Top 10
  • Angie's List 2016

What Causes Leaks, and What You Can do to Combat Them

Burst PipeOne of the most common plumbing issues, leaks are the cause of all kinds of headaches for homeowners across the country. Whether you’ve got iron, copper, or any other kind of pipes, you can bet that at some point they’ll spring a leak if you’re not careful. The best way to defend your pipes against these kinds of issues is to know what causes them in the first place. Let’s take a look at why pipes spring leaks in the first place, and what can be done about it.


Corrosion is the single most common cause of pipe leaks in the country. Typically, the presence of certain particles in the area around the pipe will degrade it over time until it finally starts to develop leaks. With iron, you can expect rust to be what eventually causes it to leak and rupture. Copper pipes have largely replaced iron ones for the past fifty years or so, as they’re much more resilient. However, that doesn’t mean that they are immune to corrosion.

Formicary and pitted corrosion, caused by formaldehyde and chlorine respectively, can eat away at copper piping just as easily as oxidation can compromise iron. So, just because you have copper pipes in your home, don’t think that you’re free and clear regarding leaks. Copper pipes are also more prone to pinhole leaks, thanks to pitted corrosion. These are tiny leaks that are too small to cause obvious external symptoms, but which can still rot out the surrounding area with water damage if they aren’t caught in time.

Root Growth

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience this particular issue inside your home. But, this happens quite a lot with residential water lines so we’re going to cover it anyway. Tree roots tend to infiltrate and spread throughout any line that happens to be close to them. Once the root infiltrates the line, it will grow and spread until it chokes off all water running through the system. The roots often bore holes in the line as they spread, making it difficult to repair once they’ve been removed.

Preventing and Repairing Plumbing Leaks

Unfortunately, there’s very little to be done most of the time to actually prevent leaks from occurring. You’re unlikely to have to deal with root problems if there are no trees near your home, but rust and other chemical causes are likely going to happen somewhere in your system no matter what. The best thing you can do is make sure that any leaks that do develop are caught as quickly as possible. That means scheduling preventive maintenance at least once a year.

A preventive plumbing inspection and maintenance appointment will allow your technician to closely examine your pipes for issues. With preventive maintenance, you can make sure that leaks in your plumbing system are found and repaired before they have the chance to get any worse. You can save thousands of dollars in repair costs over the life of your furnace by doing this on a consistent basis.

Saddleback Plumbing provides comprehensive plumbing maintenance services in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.

Comments are closed.