Did you know that up to 10,000 gallons of water are wasted every year on household leaks? The leaks may come from leaking valves, dripping faucets, or defective toilet flappers. They require fewer resources to fix and can be less life-threatening when detected early.
Leaking water can result in wood rot and compromise your home’s structural integrity. The leaks may also favor mold and mildew growth, which may trigger respiratory infections or allergic reactions.
There are fast, non-destructive, and non-invasive means on how to find a leak in your home. These means can help you save money on your water bills and reduce the risk of getting waterborne infections. Here are some leak detection tips to get you started:
Watch Your Water Meter
Turn off all the water faucets in your home when checking the water meter. You should also switch off appliances connected to the water supply. If your water meter readings continue to change, there might be a leak in your home.
Wait up to two hours before rechecking the meter to determine whether there’s a fast or slow-moving leak. Further changes in the meter reading may suggest that the leak may come from your water pipes. If the readings keep increasing, it may imply that water is leaking at a faster rate.
Monitor Your Water Bill
A leak may be the reason your water bill is rising even when your water usage is constant. Compare your current water bill against bills from the previous months to see whether they’re consistent. Unless your water use habits have changed, your bill should be in the same range every month.
Monitor your water usage during the winter season when looking for a way on how to find leaks. You should also evaluate the bill against the meter readings to determine whether it’s accurate.
Reach out to an expert plumber to help you detect the source of the leak and fix it. When left unresolved, the leak may damage your plumbing system and increase your water bills further.
Inspect Your Toilet for Leaks
Your toilet’s flapper may get brittle over time and allow water to leak into the bowl from the tank. The flapper’s role is to prevent water from getting into the bowl unless you flush your toilet. You can do a dye test in the tank to determine whether the flapper is defective.
Pour a few drops of food coloring liquid into the toilet’s tank as part of the dye test. If the food color appears inside the bowl five minutes later, there’s a leak in the toilet. Replace the flapper to prevent future leaks in the toilet.
Check Your Walls and Ceilings for Discoloration
Search for signs of discoloration on every wall or ceiling of your house. These surfaces may be discolored when there’s a leak in the sewer or water pipes passing behind the walls. The discoloration spots may be small in size and unnoticeable at first.
With time, the spots will enlarge and cause structural defects to your walls and ceilings. Pay close attention to the ceilings and walls in your bathrooms and kitchen since they have more plumbing pipes than other rooms. Water stains on walls or ceilings are usually brownish or yellowish.
Look for warm spots on your ceilings and walls, which may suggest that there’s a leak in your hot water lines. These warm spots may cause cracks on your walls or result in further damage when the leaks are unresolved. Bulging wallpaper and bubbling paint on your walls may suggest that there’s a leak in your home.
Look for Musty Scents and Dripping Sounds
A persistent water leak provides a conducive environment for mold growth in your basement or walls. Black splotches and a musty smell on your walls may indicate the presence of mold. These signs may also suggest that there’s a water leak beneath your walls or flooring.
Though most basement leaks are usually silent, some produce a dripping sound depending on the location. For instance, a dripping sound coming from your faucets or toilet may be a sign of a leak. The sounds give you a clue of the location of the water leak.
Check the Exterior Parts of Your Home
Attach a garden hose on your outside spigots to check whether water is seeping through the connection. You may also replace the hose gasket and turn on the water supply to determine whether the connections are loose. Expect water to leak from the connection if one of the parts is faulty.
Hire a professional to inspect your home’s irrigation system at least once a year if you have one. Any leaks in the system may result in over 6,000 gallons of water wasted every month.
Patches of greener and fast-growing grass on your lawn may suggest that there’s a leak in your plumbing system. They may also indicate the part where the water line buried underground is leaking. You might even notice puddles of water on the ground if the leak intensifies.
Install Leak Detectors
Installing leak detectors in places that are prone to water damage can help you spot leaks early. You can install them under the kitchen sink, bathroom, water heater closet, and laundry room.
A smart water leak detector can notify you of plumbing problems in your home and help reduce their impact. You can count on the device for the alerts whether you’re in your home or far away.
Check your water leak detectors every day as a way of finding a leak in your house. Some are even designed to shut off the water from your main supply line once they detect a leak.
Looking for More Help on How to Find a Leak in Your House?
Identifying water leaks early can help you identify plumbing issues and rectify them before they get worse. As a preventative measure, this activity will keep your plumbing system running optimally at all times. We hope that this guide offered you all the help you need on how to find a leak in your home.
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