The home can be akin to the human body in that it needs to have fluid delivered to its various parts in order to function properly. In order to do this, pipes are used to transport the water or gas from one location to the other. Some examples of the pipe systems found in the property are water, sewage and even steam. The most common types of pipes in the home are those devoted to water and drainage. These are used to provide clean water to the house and lead used water away from them to the main sewage tunnels of the city.
When the pipes get broken, it can mean major damage to the property. It does not just cause environmental hazards but can also the lead to structural damage that may be very expensive to repair. Unfortunately, the occurrence of broken pipes is not uncommon. In fact, research has shown that one out of three residents in the United States will experience it in their lifetime.
To avoid the trouble caused by broken pipes, there is a need to recognize the signs that can be indicative of problems in the broken pipes. After all, these systems rarely break down spontaneously. On the contrary, problems often result from a buildup and can be prevented if caught early enough.
One of the signs of a broken pipe is unusual noises in the pipes. When the pipes are laid down in the property, the contractor is tasked with the job to make sure that it is as soundless as possible. The manufacturers of the fixings also try to reduce the sounds emitted by their equipment to ensure that they are unobtrusive to the lifestyles of the residents of the property. For the most part, the combined efforts of the contractor and manufacturer are successful.
However, this does not mean that the noise is completely eliminated. Much of the sound is caused by the water traveling at a high speed. Thus, the only way to totally eliminate the sound is to make the water stand still. This will defeat the purpose of having a water pipe system in the first place.
Generally, there are three sounds that are associated with the pipes, particularly in older plumbing systems. These are known as the water hammer, whistling as well as chattering.
The water hammer is the thumping sound in the pipes when the valves are suddenly turned off. Often the water hammer can be taken out when an air chamber or an extra length of pipe is installed in the wall where the supply pipe meets the fixture such as the faucet. Another option is to place shock arrestors to the main pipe line that is located near the cause of the noise. A water hammer can mean that the piping is subjected to shock waves. This can lead to wear and tear and thus, to leakage if it is not properly addressed.
Another example of noise as an indicator of a problem in the system is a chattering noise. In this situation, the loose pipes bump into each other causing the sound. This can be due to the fact that the washers are worn out or the parts of the system are loose. It is important to address this situation because the constant tension of the pipes rubbing against each other can lead to holes that can spring leaks.
Finally, when the water squeezes through a pipe that is too small, a whistling sound is emitted. It usually occurs when there are bends in the pipe. When a sound such as this is heard, particularly when it did not exist before, there is a need to investigate the matter because it can mean that the pipe is dented. This is a serious matter because if the water pressure builds up too much, it can lead the pipe to burst causing water damage. To remedy the situation, the piping system can be straightened out or a pressure reducing valve installed.
Odors in the plumbing
A correctly installed plumbing system should be odorless. When unusual smells are detected, it can mean that there are leaks in the waste or vent pipes. It can also result from the loss of the water seal in the traps found in the system. If the pipes are improperly installed, odors can emanate from these defects. Unusual odors detected can range from the smell of rotten food to the smell of sewage.
This is a situation that should not be ignored because it means that sewer gas is able to enter the premises of the property. Although they are not always fatal, the fumes can cause illnesses such as headaches and respiratory problems.
In the event that there are smells coming from the pipes, it is best to call a plumber who can perform tests to determine its source. Repairs should then be made to maintain the health of the people occupying the property. In addition to this, a quick response to noxious odors is also necessary because it can lead to serious structural problems. When there are flaws in the piping system, then it is only a matter of time before they burst or get clogged up, causing backflow and water damage.
Leaks in the Pipe
Leaks are a fairly obvious and common indicator of troubles in the piping system. However, their lack of rarity makes them quite easy to ignore as well. This is a mistake because even the smallest leaks can lead to bigger problems. Even if the problem is not that severe, they can quickly progress into something more serious. If there is a leak in the plumbing system, the proper response is to turn off the water supply to the property and call a licensed plumbing contractor immediately. Although temporary repairs can be done, such as by wrapping the pipe, more permanent action is needed such as applying a waterproof seal or actually replacing it.
A change in the quality of the water supply
If the water supply slows down or is cut off entirely, then it is a good reason to suspect that there is a problem with the plumbing system. One of the reasons for this is that there is a blockage in the pipe. It can either be caused by the buildup of grease and debris or the water freezing. This is a significant development in the pipe system because it can lead to the pipes bursting, causing further damage. If the blockage is due to a frozen pipe, the way to melt it is to use a slow and conservative method such as the use of a blow dryer. Direct heat such a blowtorch can work too quickly and cause the pipe to explode, releasing steam. This can be a source of injury to the person working on it.
Another type of blockage can be caused by liquid fats, which solidifies as it passes through the sewer. One of the best ways to address this problem is to prevent them in the first place. Do not let excess go down the drain. Instead, dispose of them properly by throwing them out to the garbage. In case there is a blockage already existing, then use a plunger, or a big suction cup made out of rubber, and use it over the drain.
In addition to the rate of the water’s flow, the quality of the water supply itself can tell the property owner if there is a looming danger to the performance of the pipe systems. In cases where the water turns brown or yellow or begins to smell, this means that the materials used in the pipes are contaminated and may need to be replaced. This situation is most prevalent in older houses that made use of metal pipes. However, it can also occur in more modern houses making use of plastic pipes. Corrosion and wear and tear are natural processes that cannot be helped considering that the pipes are subjected to heavy use. When the pipes are dirty or rusted, they can affect the quality of the water and can be detected in the way it smells, tastes and looks. When this happens, pay close attention to it because using the water can be hazardous to the health of the people occupying the property. More so, the deterioration in the quality of the pipe’s materials can make it more prone to damage such as bursting.
Addressing a difference in the quality of water and drainage supply can be quite helpful in preventing even bigger problems. Being alert and mindful of the performance of the piping system can lead to the prevention of broken pipes.
When it comes to the problem of broken pipes, it is necessary to use all the senses in order to see the potential for the disaster. Fortunately, further damage can be prevented if the property owner is vigilant to the different kinds of signs that that broken pipes exhibit. In the event that damage is suspected, it is important to call the services of a professional right away to make the necessary inspections and repairs. A timely and adequate response can be vital in order to maintain a healthy environment for you and your family.