Nothing leaves you feeling powerless like a plumbing leak. You don’t know where the water is coming from, and if you do it seems impossible to stop. Fortunately, fixing many common plumbing leaks is easier than you think.
The simplest way to find a leak is to look for signs of water damage on floors, walls, and ceilings near your plumbing fixtures. Once you suspect you have a leak, the next step is to test your theory. From there you may be able to fix it yourself.
Water splashing from your shower is perhaps the most common “leak.” It lands on the floor, causing damage to flooring materials, subflooring, and even the floor joists and ceiling below. To test, make sure your shower door or curtain is closed. Splash water against it and then look at the outside of the frame to make sure no water is getting through. If it is, it may seep into the joint between the tub frame and the floor. To prevent this, replace the caulking on the inside joint, where the door frame meets the shower. If your curtain is ineffective, add a splash guard. Finally, protect damage to your floor by ensuring that the silicone caulk at the joint of floor and tub is intact.
Drain leaks are another easy-to-repair source of grief. Look for signs of leakage on the ceiling below tubs and showers. With sinks you can get a direct confirmation by looking under the sink with a flashlight. To test, buy an inexpensive test plug at a hardware store. Plug the drain and run some water into the tub or sink. Let the puddle sit for a few minutes. If you return and the level has gone down, you have a leak. Unscrew the drain flange, clean its underside, apply new silicone caulk, and reinstall. While you have the flange out, replace the gasket underneath it.
For a sink drain, it is also possible to access the bottom of the drain. Check the ring nut connecting the drain pipe to the sink. If necessary, use a wrench to tighten the nut. If that doesn’t work, remove the nut and replace the rubber gasket inside.
Finally, sink-rim leaks are another common problem with an easy fix. Disintegration of the counter around your sink (especially underneath) is a sure sign. Tighten the joint between sink and counter by turning the nut at the base of the faucet and cranking the mounting clips under the sink. If your sink rim happens to be caulked, scrape off the old caulking and add a new bead.
These are some simple fixes to common home leak problems that require no technical expertise. They will save you money and the stress of having to call for help.
If you are still suffering from home leaks after the above leak detection tips, please contact a professional residential plumber. At Express Plumbing & Rooter, our plumbers are available 24/7 for any home leak situation. To contact us, visit www.ExpressPlumbingandRooter.com or call 800-628-5553.