Water leaks are so seemingly meager that most people tend to disregard them. The truth is, however, that the average household leak can waste an astounding 10,000 gallons of water every year. Technically, this is how much water you’re wasting in your home if you have a leak.
But what if you can’t find the leak? Undetected water leaks are the worst because they can cause significant water damages in your home. Water can compromise the entire structure of your home, ruin your walls, furnishings, and carpets.
Even worse, water can easily cause mold and mildew, which can be very dangerous to your health if undetected. The question is, how do you detect water leaks in your home? This is a comprehensive guide that will show you exactly what to do.
Monitor Your Water Bills
One of the most common apparent signs of a household leak is a high water bill. For instance, if you have received an unusually high bill without necessarily increasing your consumption. In that case there’s a high chance you have one or maybe more leaks in your plumbing system. It’s advisable to check a few of your latest water bills for comparison and see whether there’s a significant increase to warrant a leak.
Once you suspect there may be a leak, monitor your water bills as it may give you a definitive answer. To gauge whether you have a leaking pipe in your home through the water meter, start by turning off all the faucets in your home. Make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are not running as well, then immediately check the reading on your meter.
Recheck the reading after two hours, and if it has changed and is still running, there’s a leak in your home. Now, to check whether the leak is inside or outside your home, shut off the house’s main supply valve and switch it off. Wait another hour, and if the meter is still running, the leak is outside your home, and if not, the leak is inside your home.
In case the water leak is outside your home, you should check for patches of greener grass. This likely means that’s where the leak from your buried pipes is likely to be. Check for puddles of water on the ground as well.
Check Your Faucets
In most homes, the source of a water leak is usually a faucet, with the culprit being a worn-out rubber washer under the handle. You can replace the rubber washer, though, you need to shut off the water supply while doing it.
You can also check the gasket to see whether it’s the culprit and replace it as needed. Check if the leak is gone after doing so. Then, if not, you may have to call in a professional plumber to check what the problem with your faucet is.
Test Your Toilet
The toilet is the next obvious place after the faucets, and they are quite notorious for water leaks as well. A leaking toilet can especially waste gallons of water per day, regardless of how small the drips seem. To check for a leak, start by removing the toilet lid and add a few drops of food color to the water in the tank.
You can also substitute the food color for dye tabs, usually found in hardware stores. Allow the dye to saturate the water and wait at least half an hour before flushing the toilet. If the dyed water enters the toilet bowl, you most probably have a leak.
Sometimes, toilet water leaks are as easy to fix as it could be a matter of replacing the flapper. More often than not it can be worn out or cracked. Apart from this you could have other issues, such as if you often need to jiggle the handle to keep water from running. When this happens you may have a problem with the chain or the flush bar. In this case, it’s most suitable to hire a professional plumbing contractor to handle the pipe leak repair.
Perform a Visual Inspection of Your Home
Several things are telltale signs that you might have undetected water leaks in your home. For instance, the leaks could be coming from the plumbing system in your walls or ceiling. In this case, inspect your home for water stains and discoloration on your walls and ceiling for water damage.
It usually takes a while before you can notice a water leak from behind drywall, but if you notice yellow or brown discoloration, it’s a sure sign there’s a water leak close by. Check your walls and floors for warping as well and inspect whether you have mold or mildew growing in your home.
Mold can grow anywhere as long as there’s moisture, so you need to inspect the whole house for it. Of course, some of the most common areas are bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces, and laundry rooms, so start with those. The mold may be visible and easy to detect, but sometimes it’s hidden. In this case, you can detect it through its musty smell. Beyond this, check for wet spots on your carpets and rugs as well.
The tricky part with some of the leaks is the fact that the plumbing is hidden, and the leaks could be coming from anywhere, not necessarily where the wall or ceiling stain is. It’s crucial that you find a professional plumbing contractor who will find and fix the leak without having to compromise other areas of your home.
Inspect Your Appliances and Shower Area
Like the washing machine and dishwasher, some of your appliances are usually connected to a water supply. These appliances are prone to wear and tear over time, and it could also be the connection hoses that are cracked, causing the leaks. You may also have water heater problems as they are also prone to leaks, and if it happens, you need to have the leak fixed before things get out of hand.
Apart from appliances, there are also several areas that water leaks could occur in your shower area. This very often starts with the showerhead. If it happens to be dripping while the shower is turned off, then it’s likely to be the culprit. Also, check the base of the shower or your bathtub for pooling water.
Detecting a Water Leak: Hire a Professional Plumbing Contractor
Now that you know how to detect plumbing a plumbing leak, it’s imperative to have it fixed immediately. Even if you don’t find it, you will benefit from calling in a pro. One of our professional plumbing contractors can come to your home and check for all kinds of leaks, including underground leaks.
They know how to fix a leaking pipe and help you save your water bills and your home from water damages. To schedule an appointment for excellent leak detection and plumbing services, please get in touch with us today!