How to Detect a Water Leak
An undiscovered leak can lead to a significant increase in your water bill and severe damage to your home. Sometimes leaks can be obvious while others are much more challenging. Learn how to detect a water leak in your home and put a stop to high costs and irreparable damage.
1. Check Your Water Meter
A great place to determine if you have a water leak is checking your water meter. Water meters are located in various places. Yours could be under your sink, in the basement, or outside in a concrete box typically marked “water”.
Now that you’ve found your water meter, turn off all the water in your home. Shut off faucets and make sure the appliances like dishwashers and washing machines are not running. Next, check the leak indicator to see if it’s moving. If it does, it’s likely you have a fast-moving leak. If the meter doesn’t change immediately, wait an hour or two and come back to check it again. If it has changed in this period of time with the water off, you could be dealing with a slower leak.
The problem now is that the leak could be anywhere after the meter or even underground. To determine the leak is inside or outside, simply turn off the main water valve and check the meter again. If the meter stops moving or doesn’t change, you have a leak inside the house. If the leak indicator continues to move or there is a change in the readings, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.
If you are unable to locate and detect the water leak, call Leak Science as soon as possible.
2. Monitor Your Bill
If your bill has significantly increased but your habits haven’t changed, this could mean you have a leak. Gather a few bills from the recent past few months and compare them to see if there is indeed a steady increase. Your water bill should remain within the same range from month to month.
It’s important to remember that there are typically 100s of feet of pipes in the shape of a maze underneath your home and you may never be able to detect leaks in this part of your system, but will always pay for them. It’s best to have a professional leak detection company conduct a comprehensive inspection through all of your pipes. This way, anything needing immediate attention can be handled promptly and you will understand the health of your piping system.
3. Examine The Toilets In Your Home
Toilets can account for up to 30% of a home’s water use so it’s important to check to see if they are running properly. To test for a leak, add a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank and wait 30 minutes without flushing the toilet. If the food coloring shows up in the bowl, the problem is most often a worn-out flapper valve. However, a bad flush handle may also be the accused.
If you think the flush handle may be the problem, try tightening the nut securing it to the side of the tank or adjust the length of the chain so it’s not too tight or too loose. With a flapper valve, you’ll most often hear water running continuously if it’s not sealing properly.
4. Look For Clues
To best detect a water leak, when you’re in the bathroom, look for leaky faucets, showerheads, and drains. Prompt attention could save you thousands in repairs. Including regular checks of the back of cabinets, under basins, and looking for signs of mold or foul smells can ensure timely repairs.
If you have a home that is 25 years or older, it’s safe to expect that your home is on the declining side of its life expectancy. Take advantage of the equipment, technology, and the trained senses of an expert to conduct a comprehensive inspection. If you suspect you have a leak in your plumbing system, don’t hesitate to call the professionals! Leak Science is available to legitimately find and fix your home water leak.
5. Check Around The Exterior Of Your Home
Go around the outside of your home and check the faucet-like pipes called bibbs. Sometimes these are actively dripping and most often can be fixed by tightening the packing nut that secures the handle or simply replace the washer inside the handle assembly.
Additionally, check any garden accessories you have. This includes things like hoses, taps, fountains, irrigation systems, and water ornaments. It’s important to know that even if you don’t see a fountain of water coming up from the ground, a small consistent drip is still significantly problematic. A good way to determine a smaller leak is noticing when a fixture or the surrounding terrain appears to be wet despite recent rainfall or other natural causes.
How To Detect A Water Leak
Call a leak detection specialist if you think you have a water leak in your home. Leak Science has been in the industry for years and is the only leak detection company that legitimately finds and fixes your leak. Our team utilizes high-tech equipment and continuing education to detect your water leak, wherever it is.