Your plumbing system works every day to transfer water throughout your house and waste off your property. You don’t usually notice this sophisticated process until it starts to fail on you, and even then, some still put off pipe repair until it’s too late.

Delaying necessary repairs has consequences on both a small and larger scale. Concerning your home, damaged and leaking pipes can ruin your landscaping and damage your foundation. The excess liquid weakens your property across the board and makes it much less comfortable to live in.

And on a larger environmental scale, leaking pipes expel an astonishing amount of water over time. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that one trillion—one trillion!—gallons of water get wasted per year solely from damaged pipes. That’s enough to fill 40 million swimming pools, or the entire Rose Bowl 12,000 times.

Doing your part can be as simple as practicing leak detection in and around your home. And if you find evidence of damage, scheduling your leak repair through Steve’s Plumbing will help both your household and your community as a whole.

Learning Leak Detection

How can you tell you need a leaking pipe repair? There may be a visible crack or dripping of fluid in an exposed pipe somewhere in your house. That’s a pretty obvious sign of damage. But what about the pipes you can’t see, the ones that hide in your walls and underground? If those pipes are leaking, there are ways to tell. You just have to know what to look for.

You may need a sewer line repair if you find sudden and inexplicable patches of green in your yard. That happens because of the new moisture underground giving them a consistent source of food. Lush lawns are nice, but if your grass is flourishing and you haven’t been watering, you may have an underground leak.

Inside the home, leaking water pipes can result in slow drains or a weak water flow. And even though it looks like less water is being cycled, leaking pipes will cause your water bill to spike. Like the green patches in a yard with a broken sewer pipe, if your bill is doubling even though you haven’t made any changes to your water usage, that’s likely a sign that you need a water pipe repair.

Broken Pipe Causes

The cause of your broken pipes can be due to several factors depending on where you live and how well you’ve been maintaining them. Occasionally, tree roots and other growth can break through sewer pipes and result in leaks and blockage. That is especially possible for older pipes, which erode over the years and weaken from corrosion.

Living in Washington, one of the biggest causes of broken pipes is the effect of the weather. When water is exposed to cold air, it creates ice—that’s simple chemistry. And every winter, it can happen inside your pipes, causing the water flowing through them to expand into ice and eventually make the pipes burst.

There are things you can do to keep this from happening. If it’s freezing, you should keep a few faucets running at a slow dribble because water moving through your pipes will prevent the line from turning to ice. And pipe leaks aren’t the only leaks you should concern yourself with. If you seal the spots in your home that let in cold air, you can keep the temperature more comfortable and your plumbing system running smoothly.

Pipe Replacement

While repair is usually an option for pipes, there are a few signs that you need a more intensive pipe replacement. Corrosion causes leaks and weakens your overall plumbing, but it also can lower the quality of your water. If you pour a glass to drink or a tub to soak in, pay attention to the color. Pipes built up with rust and other deterioration will flake off into your water supply, causing the color to go brown, red, or orange.

When a pipe starts to rust, it usually means they’re getting old. Most plumbing systems are designed to last for a very long time—brass, cast iron, or galvanized steel, for instance, can last for up to a century. On the other end of the spectrum, PVC pipes may start to go out in forty years or less.

If your pipes were old when you bought your house, you might want to consider replacing your system through a trusted provider like Steve’s Plumbing. If you just fixed a leak in your piping and now find yourself hearing that drip-drip-drip once again, it’ll save you a lot of trouble replacing your pipes and upgrading your plumbing to ensure peace of mind.

Nu Flow Pipe Relining

A pipe replacement is sometimes necessary, but it can also be incredibly costly and complicated to do right. That’s why Steve’s Plumbing specializes in Nu Flow, a new pipe-lining technology that works to renew your pipes without removing your existing system.

You don’t have to dig up your entire sewer with Nu Flow. Instead, you can feed a new liner into the pipes that are already there. A Steve’s Plumbing technician will remove any roots or build-up already present inside the system, and once you feed the new liner in, your plumber will inflate and seal it along the edges of the pipe. Once it’s cured, your plumber will remove the bladder and leave you with a new pipe at the core of your old one.

Our Nu Flow services are the space in the Venn diagram where replacement and repair overlap. It can be a viable solution for any leaks, breaks, or cracks the system may endure over the years, and plumbers can do this for pressurized and non-pressurized piping alike.

Nu Flow is a service we currently hold over most of our competitors in the Washington area. But we find so much potential in the process that we believe it’ll be used in most sewer replacement projects in the near future. It’ll save your household immeasurable time, money, and trouble. 

Plumbing Maintenance

You can prevent the need for most of these procedures by maintaining your plumbing system. Experts agree that your household should schedule a plumbing inspection once every two years. But that’s not true for every home in Washington.

If you’re living in a home built before the 60s, you’re likely working with galvanized steel water lines. In those days, steel was popular for its strength. However, over time, this material becomes incredibly vulnerable to deterioration. Because of that, steel pipes are more likely to develop leaks and bursts.

Similarly, homeowners living around mature trees should keep a close eye on their plumbing. The root system of these established trees is remarkably strong and can easily break through the piping if left unattended. Roots might already have caused a small leak in your system, which would be difficult for an untrained eye to spot. But a plumber knows what to look for and how to remedy the problem before it gets out of hand.

And if you’re moving into a new home, you shouldn’t wait to get a plumbing inspection. Home inspectors can gloss over the basics of upkeep and maintenance, but the technicians with Steve’s Plumbing can give a comprehensive perspective to really make you feel welcome at home.

What Goes into a Plumbing Inspection?

If you’re curious about what goes into a plumbing inspection, you’ll find that Steve’s Plumbing works from every room in the house. They’ll search with expert eyes and catch problems from a very early stage.

In the bathroom, they’ll check the sink, bathtub, and shower faucets for leaks. They’ll also test the water pressure and consistency, as an irregular spray on something like the showerhead can be a sign of calcium buildup. They’ll work similarly in the kitchen, working with the faucet and the drains.

Our technicians will let you know the state of your plumbing, even if that means snaking a camera into your pipes to see them from the inside. In the end, they will diagnose if you need any more significant repairs. Otherwise, they’ll give your plumbing a clean bill of health, and you can go on in confidence, knowing that you’ve taken care of things for another few years.

Steve’s Plumbing for “Plumbers Near Me”

At Steve’s Plumbing, pipes have been a family affair for over two decades. We started in Austin and moved to Seattle, so we’ve seen the weather at every angle. Extreme heat and frigid cold each do different things to your pipes, and the team at Steve’s Plumbing is familiar with both types of weather.

A local name doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. In fact, going to a family provider can bring a level of care, insight, and enthusiasm that you just won’t find in bigger franchises.

When you’re dealing with leaky pipes, you want a professional team that isn’t afraid to put its whole heart into finding a solution to your problem, even if it means taking a risk. If that’s what you want, call Steve’s Plumbing. We’ll give you a service worth talking about.