What To Know About Pipe Sweating

8 August 2018
 Categories: , Blog

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When the weather outside gets hot, the pipes inside your home can start sweating. Here is what you need to know about this plumbing problem.

Why Do Pipes Sweat?

Your plumbing will sweat due to a similar reason that a cold glass of water will sweat. It's due to condensation forming on the pipes on hot days, when air that surrounds the pipe is humid and warm. The cold temperature of a water pipe can actually lower the air temperature around it, which makes the moisture in the air turn from gas to liquid.

Should You Be Concerned About Pipe Sweating?

You should take action when you see water pipes in your home that are sweating, because they can cause damage just as if the pipe is leaking. Dripping condensation can cause mold to form in the place it is dripping, which could be on the drywall of a ceiling that the pipe is above, or in places you cannot see behind walls. If a pipe sweats for a long time, it can cause a lot of damage.

How Do You Identify Sweating Pipes?

One trick to see if a pipe is actually sweating is to use a dehumidifier. Wipe off your pipe to see how much water is on it one day, and then run a dehumidifier the next. If the pipe is dry compared to the previous day, you have an issue with pipe sweating.

However, you do not want to confuse sweating pipes with leaking pipes. You can do an easy test by shutting off all the water in your home and looking at your water. Return to the pipe after a while and see if there is condensation on it. If so, check your water meter to see if it has increased. Water usage is a sign of leaking pipes, not sweating pipes.

How Can You Fix Sweating Pipes?

A potential solution is to use a whole-home dehumidifier, which will remove moisture in the air and prevent it from turning into a liquid on your pipes. You can even run a dehumidifier in problem areas with exposed pipes, such as your basement.

Another option is to hire a plumber to insulate your home's plumbing. By putting protective sleeves around the pipes, it prevents humid air from coming in contact with the pipe and turning into condensation. They can even help get insulation on pipes in hard-to-reach areas, such as behind walls and ceilings. 

For more information, reach out to companies such as Roto-Rooter.