Why do Pipes Sweat?

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Why do Pipes Sweat?

Category : Plumbing Problems

Unless your basement has been refinished, you likely do not spend much time in this space unless you are storing boxes or doing laundry. Sometime when you are down there, take a few minutes to look at the plumbing–specifically the pipes. You might notice something that is referred to as sweating pipes. This almost looks as if there were dew on the pipes, as the moisture beads up. However, pay particular attention to areas where the moisture is the heaviest, maybe even puddling on the floor.

A common cause of sweating pipe syndrome is condensation. This occurs when the moisture in the basement–usually a very humid space–condenses on pipes with cold running water.  Often, the problem is simply that the basement has high water content and could benefit from a dehumidifier. However, it could be a warning sign that water is leaking from the pipes. If this is the case, your leaking pipes require repair as soon as possible. This is because any water leaks show up in higher utility bills. Even a small leak can lead to the loss of thousands of gallons of water.

Make sure that your pipes are in sound condition with pipe repair from a licensed plumber. This professional comes to your home with tools and equipment in hand to inspect your pipes, make a diagnosis, and talk to you about proper repairs. This may involve soldering the pipes, or perhaps a piece of pipe or a joint need to be replaced. An experienced plumber will know what to do.

If the plumber determines that the pipes are not leaking and that the condensation is due to humidity, a dehumidifier may help or perhaps the pipes need to be insulated or wrapped. This is much less of a threat to your home and can be remedied easily.