4 Secrets Your Pipes May Be Hiding

Hidden plumbing problems can cause a great deal of costly damage to your home if you don’t address them promptly. Since we can’t see most of the pipes that flow water throughout our homes, we need to be alert for signs that something may be wrong.

Here are four secrets that your pipes may be hiding and some tell-tale symptoms of each to watch for:

1. Hidden Leaks

Since water spreads, hidden leaks often don’t remain hidden for long. Inside or outside your home, there are usually indications that a plumbing problem needs attention.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household’s leaks account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. That’s a lot of costly wasted water.

Here are some indications that your home probably has a leak somewhere in the pipes:

  • Higher Water Bills

If your water bills are suddenly inexplicably higher, it’s time to check for leaks.

Eliminate the toilets in your home as a source of leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and waiting about twenty minutes. If there’s no colored water in the bowl or on the floor around the toilet, it’s not the source of the leak.

Check for leaks under sinks, in the laundry room, and around the water heater. If you can’t find any visible leaks, it’s time to call a plumbing pro to help diagnose the problem.

  • Stains on Walls or Ceilings

Brownish stains, puckered paint, and mold or mildew on ceilings or walls in your home can all indicate a leak, particularly if the stains aren’t near a bathroom.

If your flooring is warped or sagging, it could also be caused by a leak.

Call a plumbing professional at Chas Roberts to find and fix the problem.

  • Bad Smells

Musty, damp smells in your home near bathrooms, walls, or drains could be signs of a leak. Sewer odors may mean a sewer vent has cracked.

Lingering odors are signs of leaks that can cause serious damage, attract insects, and spread germs. Bad smells are signs of a problem that needs immediate professional attention.

  • Your Water Meter Runs Even When You Haven’t Used Water

Check your water usage by turning off the water to your home for a couple of hours. If the water meter reading shows your water use is higher even with the water turned off, you have a leak.

  • Weak Water Flow Throughout Your Home

If the water flow throughout your home is suddenly weaker than usual, there may be a hidden leak. The leak may be in the supply line or even at the water main.

You’ll probably need the help of a plumbing pro to diagnose and fix the problem.

  • Wet or Muddy Spots in Your Yard

Wet or muddy spots in your yard are often signs of leaks in outside pipes. Another indication of a possible outdoor leak is a cracked or crumbling paved area.

Potholes, sinkholes, and sewage smells are other things to watch for that can mean an exterior pipe leak.

2. Root Growth in the Pipes

Trees’ root systems are complex and can be two to three times longer than a tree’s height. The extensive root systems of large trees can enter and clog your home’s sewer line and water pipes, causing costly damage.

Any slight cracks or tiny leaks in pipes can attract tree roots searching for moisture. Once the roots are inside, they will continue to grow and expand, eventually completely blocking sewer lines and pipes.

Older homes and homes with mature trees are especially prone to root growth clogs.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Slow Drains

Slow drains in your home are often the first indication that tree roots have grown into your pipes or sewer line.

Another indication is gurgling toilets or toilets that continually back up. After flushing, a gurgling noise or backed-up toilet could be caused by a sewer line blocked with root growth.

Checking pipes for root growth and removing them is a job for plumbing professionals.

  • Unpleasant Odors

A sewer line clogged with root growth could be causing unpleasant smells in and outside your home.

Root growth can cause severe damage to pipes, so this is a problem that you should address promptly.

3. Poorly Secured Pipes

The pipes in your home are secured every three to four feet with pipe straps to keep them stable. Over time, those straps can loosen, causing the pipes to move when water runs through them.

Here are some signs that may mean your home has some loose pipes:

  • Rattling

Rattling pipes aren’t just annoying; they could indicate a more significant problem with the plumbing in your home.  The rattling sound could mean your pipes are loose.

A blocked vent pipe in your plumbing could also be causing the rattling sound.

Your best bet is to have a plumbing pro diagnose the source of the rattling as soon as possible.

  • Leaks

The vibrations from poorly secured pipes can eventually lead to costly leaks.

Get a professional diagnosis if you suspect some pipes in your home aren’t as well-secured as they should be.

4. Corrosion

Corrosion in pipes occurs when old metal pipes get rusted on the inside from many years of use. Corroded pipes can leak or burst, causing severe water damage.

It can be a problem in older homes where the plumbing hasn’t been updated.

Here are some indications the pipes in your home may be corroded:

  • Water is Discolored

If the water that comes out of pipes first thing in the morning is discolored, it may be a sign of corroded pipes.

  • Water Tastes Strange

Water flowing from corroded pipes often has a metallic taste.

  • Water Smells Weird

Corrosion in pipes can cause water to have a metallic smell.

  • Low Water Pressure

Corroded pipes can become clogged with buildup, causing low water pressure.

Corrosion compromises the integrity of your pipes and the water quality in your home.  Contact a qualified Chas Roberts plumbing pro for service if you suspect the pipes in your home may be corroded.


Since we can’t see most of the pipes that bring us the water we use every day, we need to watch for signs of hidden problems in our pipes– and promptly address any issues as soon as they arise.

Chas Roberts

Chas Roberts has been family-owned and operated for over 75 years.  Our highly trained technicians can provide reliable service for all your plumbing and HVAC needs.  Contact us for affordable quality service.