Plumber fixing leaking pipe emergency

Is A Leaking Water Pipe An Emergency?

Imagine waking up to a damp spot that has appeared on your ceiling or an unexpected puddle in your kitchen. Panic sets in as you realise you might have a leaking water pipe somewhere. But is this situation truly a plumbing emergency, or can it wait until tomorrow? We’ll dive into the world of water pipe leaks, understanding their causes and signs, whether it is just a minor inconvenience or an emergency, and how EVR Plumbing, your local Gold Coast expert, can come to your rescue. 

Plumber fixing leaking water pipe

Understanding Water Pipe Leaks 

Water pipe leaks can be sneaky culprits, causing headaches for homeowners and plumbers alike. Understanding their origins is the first step towards effective prevention and resolution. 

Common Causes of Leaking Water Pipes 

Common causes of leaks include ageing pipes, corrosion, high water pressure, and even simple wear and tear. 

  • Corrosion: Older pipes, especially those made of galvanised steel, can corrode over time.
  • High Water Pressure: Excessive water pressure can strain pipes and lead to leaks.
  • Temperature Changes: Freezing and thawing can cause pipes to crack.
  • Poor Installation: Incorrectly installed pipes might not withstand regular use.
  • Wear and Tear: Over time, the material of the pipes can degrade, leading to leaks.

Types of Water Pipe Leaks 

Water pipe leaks can manifest in various forms, from pinhole leaks to burst pipes, each presenting its own set of challenges.

  • Pinhole Leaks: These are tiny holes in the pipe that can be caused by corrosion, physical damage, or even water chemistry issues. Pinhole leaks are  often difficult to detect initially but can lead to significant water loss and damage overtime if left unaddressed. 
  • Joint Leaks: Leaks occurring at the joint pipe section are another common type of water pipe leak. These leaks can occur due to poor installation, ageing pipes, or excessive water pressure. Joint leaks may start small but can worsen overtime if not repaired.
  • Burst Pipes: Burst pipes are severe leaks that occur when a pipe breaks open, typically due to extreme pressure or temperature changes. Burst pipes can release a large volume of water rapidly, causing extensive damage to property and requiring immediate attention to prevent further issues.

Signs of a Leaking Water Pipe

Detecting a leak early can save you from a world of trouble down the line. Sometimes the signs are obvious, however, leaks can also hide behind walls or beneath floors, manifesting as unexplained increases in your water bill. 

Visible Signs

Visible signs of a leak include water stains, puddles, and dripping sounds, indicating a potential issue that requires immediate attention.

Hidden Signs

Sometimes, leaks can go unnoticed until they cause significant damage. Hidden signs like musty smells, reduced water pressure, and peeling paint can indicate a hidden leak. A sudden increase in your water ball without a corresponding increase in usage could also indicate a hidden leak that needs to be addressed.

Plumber measuring wall with tape measure

When is a Leak Considered an Emergency?

Well all water pipe leaks require prompt attention from a reliable plumber, certain situations constitute emergencies that demand immediate action.

Factors That Determine Urgency 

  1. Location of the Leak:
    • Inside Walls or Ceilings: Leaks within walls or ceilings are particularly problematic because they can weaken your home’s structural integrity and are often not noticed until significant damage has occurred.
    • Under Foundations: Leaks under a building’s foundation are critical as they can lead to major structural damage, including foundation cracks and shifts.
    • Visible Areas: Leaks in visible areas, while easier to detect and address, can still cause considerable damage to furnishings and electrical appliances if left unchecked.
  2. Rate of Water Loss:
    • High Flow Leaks: A high rate of water flow from a burst pipe or a severe crack can lead to the rapid accumulation of water, resulting in flooding and immediate water damage. This type of leak is classed as a plumbing emergency because it can quickly affect large areas of your property.
    • Slow Drips: Even slow drips can escalate over time, leading to mould growth, increased humidity, and deterioration of building materials. While not immediately disastrous, they require a plumber’s attention to prevent long-term issues.
  3. Potential for Damage:
    • Water Damage to Property: Water can ruin floors, walls, and ceilings, leading to costly repairs and replacements. It can also irreparably damage electrical systems and appliances.
    • Mould and Health Issues: Persistent moisture from a leaking pipe creates ideal conditions for mould growth. Exposure to mould spores can trigger respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues, particularly for individuals with sensitivities.
    • Increased Utility Bills: Even small leaks can lead to a significant increase in water bills over time, making early detection and repair financially beneficial.
Water pipe with emergency plumbing leak

Preventative Measures to Avoid Leaks

Taking proactive steps to prevent leaks can save your time, money, and stress in the long run.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your plumbing system is essential for preventing leaks and ensuring its longevity. Here are some key tips for maintaining your plumbing:

  • Inspect Regularly: Make it a habit to inspect your plumbing system regularly for any signs of wear and tear, corrosion, or leaks. Check for dripping faucets, water stains on walls or ceilings, and unusual odours, as these can indicate potential issues.
  • Seal Joints: Ensure that all joints and connections in your plumbing system are properly sealed to prevent leaks. Use plumbing sealant or joint compound to seal any gaps or cracks around pipes, fittings, and fixtures.
  • Clean Drains: Regularly clean your drains to prevent clogs and blockages, which can lead to leaks and other plumbing problems. Use a drain snake or plunger to remove any debris or buildup from your drains, and consider using a natural drain cleaner to keep them clear and flowing smoothly.

Upgrade Old Plumbing

If you have outdated plumbing systems in your home, consider upgrading them with modern, durable materials to reduce the risk of leaks and costly repairs. Here are some options for upgrading old plumbing:

  • Replace Galvanised Pipes: If your home has old galvanised steel pipes, consider replacing them with copper, PVC, or PEX pipes. Galvanised pipes are prone to corrosion and rust, which can lead to leaks and water damage over time.
  • Upgrade Fixtures: Replace old faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures with newer, water-efficient models. Modern fixtures are not only more reliable and durable but can also help reduce water consumption and save you money on your water bill.
  • Install Pressure Regulators: Consider installing pressure regulators on your water supply lines to control water pressure and prevent excessive strain on your plumbing system. High water pressure can lead to leaks, burst pipes, and other plumbing problems, so it’s important to keep it within safe limits.

Proper Insulation for Pipes

Insulating pipes, especially before the colder months, is crucial for preventing freezing and bursting during extreme weather conditions. Here’s how to properly insulate your pipes:

  • Use Insulation Sleeves: Wrap exposed pipes in insulation sleeves or foam pipe insulation to protect them from freezing temperatures. Pay special attention to pipes in unheated areas like attics, and crawl spaces.
  • Seal Gaps and Cracks: Seal any gaps or cracks around pipes where cold air could enter and cause them to freeze. Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal gaps in walls, floors, and ceilings, and insulate any outdoor pipes with pipe wrap or heat tape.
  • Keep Pipes Warm: In addition to insulating your pipes, take steps to keep them warm during cold weather. Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes under sinks, and consider using a space heater or heat lamp in unheated areas to prevent freezing.

By following these maintenance tips and upgrading old plumbing systems, you can reduce the risk of leaks and costly repairs, improve the efficiency of your plumbing system, and ensure the long-term integrity of your home’s plumbing infrastructure.

Plumber with fixing pipe while water dripping into bucket

Steps to Take When You Discover a Leak 

Knowing what steps to take when you discover a leak – no matter how big or small – can help minimise the damage and facilitate a quick resolution. 

Immediate Actions

Shutting off the main water supply, containing the leak, and documenting the damage are essential immediate actions to take when you discover a leak.

Temporary Fixes

Using pipe tape or epoxy putty can provide temporary relief until a professional plumber can assess and repair the leak. 

Contact A Professional

Contacting a reputable plumber as soon as possible ensures that the leak is addressed promptly and effectively.

How EVR Plumbing Can Help

When disaster strikes, EVR Plumbing is here to lend a helping hand. Our team of experienced professionals specialises in addressing plumbing emergencies promptly and efficiently. Whether you’re dealing with a minor leak or a major catastrophe, you can count on us to deliver top-notch service with a smile.

A leaking water pipe may not always spell disaster, but it’s not something to be taken lightly either. By understanding the causes and signs of leaks, knowing when to act, and taking preventative measures, you can protect your home (and your wallet) from the damaging effects of water damage. And when you need a reliable Gold Coast plumber, remember that EVR Plumbing is just a phone call away.


What should I do if I find a small leak?

If you find a small leak, first shut off the main water supply to prevent further damage. Then, try to contain the leak with buckets or towels and use temporary fixes like pipe tape. Contact a trustworthy emergency plumber to assess and repair the leak permanently.

Can a leaking pipe increase my water bill?

Absolutely. Even a minor leak can waste hundreds of litres of water over time, leading to a significant increase in your water bill. Addressing leaks promptly is key to minimising water and financial waste.

How can I prevent my pipes from leaking? 

Regular inspection and maintenance, upgrading old plumbing fixtures, and ensuring proper insulation for your pipes are all effective ways to prevent leaks. Investing in these preventative measures can save you from future headaches and expenses.

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