How To Detect A Water Leak | Ideas

A water leak is a problem that no homeowner can avoid. To detect the source, you will have to be on the lookout for common signs that may cause a water leak in your plumbing system.

Investing in the best thermal leak detection kits can help detect water leaks and get them fixed at the earliest. If not treated on time, water leaks will begin dampening the walls, and soon you may notice mold appearing. 

So, it’s best to know some of the telltale signs of water leaks, like hearing running water sounds, experiencing leaks and dripping, etc., to take necessary action right away!

Signs Of A Water Leak

Telltale signs of a water leak

If you see any of these signs present, it is likely that you have a water leak in the house. 

1. Water Usage

Water usage is one of the most important indicators that can tell you whether there is a leak in the plumbing system. Even when you hire water leak detection services, they will first take a reading of your water usage. So, to understand if all the pipes are functioning well or if there is a water leak underground, you must keep a check on your regular water usage. 

If you see a sudden rise in usage without any extra visitors coming to your place, it is most likely that there is a leaking pipe in the house. To keep a regular check, you can ask the water supplier to share your monthly water statement. This will help you keep an eye out for the amount of water that you are using. 

2. Water Pressure

Checking the water pressure from time to time can also give you a good understanding of whether there are water leaks in your plumbing system. This works as an excellent leak indicator. In case you see a sudden drop in water pressure while you are showering, this indicates there might be a leak.   

To confirm your doubt, we suggest that you turn off all the fixtures first and then turn them on again. If doing this fixes the problem, your hunch is right. You probably have a leak in the pipes. 

3. Water Heater/Boiler Constantly On

If you notice that your water heater/ boiler is getting switched on at very short intervals, there’s a high chance that there are leaking pipes. But keep in mind these are generally underground leaks and are often a bit difficult to fix. So, we suggest that you call a professional plumber to fix the problem unless you want the water meter to hit an all-time high! 

How To Detect A Water Leak?

1. Listen For Running Water

At times you might notice the water bill skyrocketing even without any change in your lifestyle. If there are no obvious signs of a leak, it is honestly more difficult to locate it, but not impossible. When at night, everything is quiet, you can try listening to the sound of running water. 

With no other noise, you can sometimes hear water leaks through floors and walls. This is actually a great way to detect underground water leaks. 

2. Conduct A Water Meter Test

This is a foolproof method to check whether there is a leak or multiple leaks in the plumbing system. All you have to do is turn off all your faucets and then check the water meter. For instance, if there is a leaking toilet, you can turn off all the appliances and fixtures and then take a look at the water meter. 

If you notice that even after turning off all the devices, the meter is still running, you can be sure of the fact that there is a leak. Keep in mind that you might not notice any change in the meter reading soon and may have to wait longer. We suggest that you wait for a few hours before comparing the readings again. 

If, over the hours, the readings change, there’s likely a slow leak. 

3. Figuring Out Leaking Toilets

If you suspect there is a water leakage condition in the toilet, you can use a smart method to understand if it’s true. All you have to do here is put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and leave it for the night. 

If there is actually a leaking water condition, by morning, you will notice water stains without flushing. A change in color in the bowl water is one of the visible signs of a leaking toilet. 

If you are wondering, “what is the best refrigerant leak detector?” you can try a similar method to detect the leak. However, you’ll have to use fluorescent dye instead and the process needs to be carried out properly to get the right results.  

4. Wet Walls And Water Drips

If any member in your house complains of dampness in the walls around the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry area, there are probably leaks inside the house. In case you do not quickly figure out the source, there may be significant water damage. 

When your water supply has leaky pipes, it will cause a mess in the house, and sooner rather than later, you will find molds forming on the walls. 

How To Locate The Source Of The Leak?

To figure out where a leak is coming from, you will have to adopt the hit-and-trial method. So, we suggest that you start with the roof, as that’s the easiest to rule out. Once you diagnose and do not find leaks on the roof, you will know that it is originating from somewhere within the house. 

Whether it’s a small leak or a large one, you will now move to inspect if it is emanating from behind the walls or underneath the ground. For this, you will need to have a detailed map of the plumbing system in your house. Otherwise, you might end up wasting a lot of time trying to find water leaks. 

Water damage is no doubt a tricky business. It is not always simple to locate. For instance, it’s not always the case that you notice water damage, break the drywall and fix the leak. At times the location of the leak can be at one place, and the effects might show somewhere else. Because of gravity, water easily travels and gets pulled in different directions. 

It is not uncommon to find that a toilet leak in the upper floors actually causes dampness in an underground basement.

How To Locate Outdoor Leaks?

Did you know that your yard is most likely filled with a dozen of pipes? And that only means more chances of a leak happening at some point or other. If you have a garden, there would be sprinkler heads and irrigation lines connected to a sewer line underground. In some cases, they might even be connected to the septic tank. 

Moving on, outdoor leaks are quite hard to identify. But once you identify them, finding the sources is pretty simple. To identify, you can simply look for wet spots on the grass. If it has not rained anytime soon, and you still feel dampness or experience a foul smell, there must be a leak.  

What To Do Once You Detect A Water Leak?

1. Fixing A Dripping Tap

When you hear a running water noise from your closed tap, there can be a water leak. 

Warning

Dripping taps are not always caused by water leaks. Sometimes, it might result from wear and tear and the buildup of debris. If that is the case, you will need to address it differently.

In all other cases, if you are wondering, “how to fix a leaking faucet?” let us share the simplest procedure that can be of use. Once you suspect a leaking tap, turn off the entire water supply. After that, open the faucet and inspect the washer properly. If you notice blockage, you can make use of a clean cloth to wipe them off. 

However, if that does not fix the issue, and you find the tap is still leaking, it’s best to get it replaced. 

2. Working On A Leaky Shower Head

To fix a shower head, you will need to first inspect it and understand what is causing the water to overflow. And to do that, you will have to turn off the water supply and then eventually remove the handle, handle cap, and faceplate. 

If you are working on a shower head that comes with only one handle, you will have to also remove the cartridge and the locking clip. After you are done doing all of these, turn the water supply on and slowly turn on the tap. 

After the water starts to run, if you still find a leak, it’s time to call a plumber. 

3. Fixing A Leaking Plastic Water Pipe

In order to fix a leaking water pipe, the first thing that you would have to do is detect the leak. After that, turn off the water source in your house and replace the leaking pipe. This should stop the hissing sound. If you leave the problem unattended, it could cause significant damage. 

That said, you might not be in a position to get an entire pipe replaced on short notice. If you are looking for a quick solution, we suggest that you use tape and epoxy. 

But in case the damage is extreme, you will actually save money by booking an appointment with a plumber. And until the plumber arrives to fix the issue, you can just use a hose clamp and rubber on the affected pipe. 

How to detect a water leak final words

How To Detect A Water Leak Final Words

Always remember that a leaking pipe, in most cases, is a sign of something more grave. Multiple leaky pipes can only mean one thing – a malfunctioning plumbing system. If you see any visible water damage or other signs, it is best that you address it at the earliest. 

In case you have no prior experience working on the plumbing system, call in expert plumbers who will help you deal with the problem. But before you call the plumbers, it is best that you follow the leak detection techniques that we have mentioned to stay ahead of the game. 

In case you liked reading this guide, you can also check out our blog on “can a ladder stabilizer be used with a telescoping ladder.” 

That said, we’ll be signing off now. Until next time, take care!

Lorelai Greene
Lorelai is a London born interior designer by trade, a designer that choose sunny Barcelona against rainy London to pursue writing after graduation, she then joined Architecture Lab in 2017 as a design contributor.

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