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  • Writer's pictureAdam McElwee

Common Plumbing Leaks in Homes: How to Detect and Fix Them

a pipe underneath a sink leaking a lot of water

Plumbing leaks in homes can lead to costly water damage and high utility bills if left unaddressed. This informative blog post will discuss the most common plumbing leaks, how to detect them, and tips for fixing these issues.

Common Plumbing Leaks in Homes

1. Leaky Faucets

A dripping faucet is one of the most common plumbing issues in homes. While it may seem like a minor annoyance, a leaky faucet can waste a significant amount of water over time. Causes of a dripping faucet can include worn-out washers, corroded valve seats, or damaged O-rings.

2. Running Toilets

A running toilet is another common plumbing problem that can waste a large amount of water. The issue is usually caused by a faulty flapper valve, which allows water to pass from the tank into the toilet bowl. Other causes can include a misaligned float, a broken fill valve, or a leaky flush valve.

3. Leaking Pipes Under Sinks

Pipes under sinks can develop leaks due to corrosion, loose connections, or damaged seals. These leaks can cause water damage to cabinets, flooring, and walls if not addressed promptly.

4. Water Heater Leaks

Water heaters can develop leaks over time, leading to water damage and inefficient heating. Common causes of water heater leaks include a corroded tank, a faulty pressure relief valve, or a leaking drain valve.

5. Washing Machine Hose Leaks

Washing machine hoses can develop leaks due to wear and tear, poor installation, or damage. A leaking washing machine hose can cause significant water damage and should be addressed immediately.

6. Leaks Around Bathtubs and Showers

Leaks around bathtubs and showers can occur due to damaged or deteriorating caulk, grout, or seals. These leaks can lead to water damage and mold growth in walls and floors.

Detecting Plumbing Leaks

To detect plumbing leaks in your home, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Unusually high water bills

  • Mold or mildew growth

  • Musty odors

  • Water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors

  • Sudden decrease in water pressure

You can also use tools like a moisture meter or an infrared camera to help locate hidden leaks. If you're unable to find the source of a leak, it's best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

Preventing Plumbing Leaks

To prevent plumbing leaks in your home, practice regular home maintenance, such as:

  • Inspecting faucets, toilets, and appliances for signs of wear or damage

  • Replacing old or damaged washing machine hoses

  • Flushing your water heater annually to remove sediment buildup

  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts to prevent water damage to your home's foundation

Fixing Common Plumbing Leaks

For minor leaks, such as a dripping faucet or a running toilet, you may be able to fix the issue yourself with some basic tools and replacement parts. However, for more complex leaks or if you're unsure how to fix a problem, it's best to call a professional plumber. Timely repairs can prevent further damage and save you money on water bills and costly repairs.


By being aware of common plumbing leaks in homes, you can take steps to detect, prevent, and fix these issues before they cause significant damage. Don't hesitate to call a professional plumber if you're unsure how to address a leak or if the problem persists after attempting a repair.

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