Leaks in plumbing lines can lead to water damage to walls and ceilings, creating the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth. Early detection and prompt repairs may prevent an expensive catastrophe from unfolding.
Unexpectedly high water bills, puddles around sinks and toilets, musty odors, and discolored walls are all telltale signs of hidden leaks that you should identify and address as quickly as possible. Here are several methods for achieving that exact goal.
Spotting those signs early can save you from a costly mess! For strategies on detecting hidden leaks and timely repairs, check out https://www.fullspeedplumbing.com/services/leak-detection/.
Table of Contents
1. Monitor your water meter
If your water meter (a must for every home and business) shows increased monthly usage, it is time to check for leaks. Water meters are highly reliable and rarely lead to consumption and billing discrepancies; they can be a valuable way of finding slow or hidden leaks within your home or office.
Locate and record the reading from your water meter. Next, disconnect all sources of water in your house (faucets, showers, and washing machines) for two to three hours before taking another reading from your meter – if the number on it has increased, then there may be leakage somewhere within.
Locate your main shutoff valve – which could be located in either your basement or garage – and close it. After several minutes, return to your meter and look at its leak indicator (usually a red triangle or small dial) to see if it has continued its rotation or changed readings. If the indicator keeps turning or readings have altered significantly, it indicates an outside leak needing professional plumbing help.
2. Look for visible signs of leaks
Water leaks can be an annoying household hassle that increases utility bills, poses health hazards, and causes significant property damage. While most homeowners can manage minor leaks, others may require professional intervention for detection or mitigation purposes.
Leaks can occur because of various reasons, such as the aging of your plumbing system, excessive wear on pipes or fixtures, or inadequate maintenance. While some leaks are easily identifiable – particularly those in hard-to-reach places such as behind walls and under sinks – others may require more effort.
Fortunately, there are methods you can use to detect hidden leaks quickly and take immediate steps to protect your home against further damage.
Stains on your ceiling and walls, unexplained increases in water bills, musty odors, mold, and mildew growth are all indicators of hidden leaks. Moisture meters or infrared cameras may help detect thermal anomalies that indicate leakage.
Turn off the water supply in that location and call a plumber for an assessment and repair if you encounter any of these symptoms. In addition, it would be wise to conduct an initial visual inspection of pipes – paying particular attention to basements/crawl spaces/under sinks/toilets where pipes could potentially leak.
3. Turn off the water
Even in cases when leaks aren’t immediately apparent, it’s always a good idea to switch off the water to limit further damage and repair costs.
Outside of puddles and water stains, musty odors or higher-than-usual water bills may also indicate hidden leaks – this may mean mold or mildew growth behind walls or that your pipes have become compromised and are leaking water.
Locate your home’s shutoff valve as a quick and simple way to stop its water supply. The main one can usually be found near the street (known as a “stop box”) and should be covered by a large metal lid, needing a unique tool to open. Water shutoff valves may also be found in the basement or by appliances like your water heater or kitchen sink.
A smart shutoff device can provide advanced leak detection. When detected, it sounds an alarm and shuts off your water supply, as well as provides details about where exactly the leak exists so that a plumber can be called out for repair.
4. Call a plumber
Though most of us think of burst pipes as plumbing emergencies, slow leaks can also do considerable damage over time. A plumber can replace damaged pipe sections to restore water flow quickly if you notice problems, but be sure to call as soon as you notice something amiss!
A professional plumbing inspection can also assist in preventing slow leaks by thoroughly examining your entire plumbing system. They will look out for potential sources of leakage, such as connecting toilets, showerheads, and faucets, behind walls or cabinets, washing machine hoses, water heaters, valves, and signs of corrosion.
Along with checking the back of kitchen or bathroom cabinets regularly for puddles, water stains or dank odors indicating a possible pipe leak.
If the water still runs when you switch off a fixture, this indicates a major leak that requires immediate attention. If you can’t identify its source, turn off all main water sources before calling a plumber for inspection – especially important if living alone or away from home;
Mainline leaks can cause flooding that compromises structural integrity; additionally, leaking pipes can contaminate electrical wiring, posing fire hazards and health risks to you and your family.