If you have noticed that your water bill is higher than usual, it might be that you have a water leak somewhere in your home. You can check all of your exposed pipes for signs of leaks by looking at the pipes that are located under your sinks. However, sometimes leaks occur in pipes that are hidden from view. You can use these steps to help you find water leaks in your home that are not easily accessible or hidden from view. We have a wide range of property leak detection Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions.
Our homes rely on water as long as its safely contained in a pipe, sink, tub, or appropriate appliance, like a dishwasher. But water can fast become the enemy if it goes where it shouldn’t, potentially damaging a home’s structure or furnishings. Plumbing leaks, unfortunately, are pretty common, even in newer houses, and it’s likely that every house will suffer from at least one. What’s more, not all leaks are obvious; in fact, they can be awfully insidious, making it crucial to catch and repair a leak as soon as possible. Every homeowner should know how to find a water leak, so read on for wise advice on determining whether you’ve sprung one and how to identify its location so you can nip the plumbing problem in the bud.
If you see signs of a water leak, you should call a plumber to perform pipe leak detection and repair the problem. Plumbers can use electronic leak detection to locate water leaks that aren’t visible or accessible. Sometimes these leaks are slab leaks. Slab leaks are leaks that occur in the pipes that run under the foundation of your home. Obviously, these leaks cannot be seen. However, they can waste a ton of water and cause extensive damage to your home if left unrepaired.
Pipe leaks can be caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes, poor workmanship results in leaks. Sometimes, the foundation of the home shifts, causing a leak in the pipes in the slab or floor. Sometimes, leaks are caused by regular wear and tear on the plumbing system. The pipes can corrode, rust, or break down due to exposure to chemicals. Any of these things can lead to pipe leaks.
If you suspect a pipe leak, the best thing to do is to call a plumber right away. When a pipe leak is not repaired promptly, it can cause more serious damage to your home. The leak can spread, and the water can cause mould, mildew, and rotting. This can result in serious damage to the structure of your home.
SIGNS YOU HAVE A LEAK IN YOUR HOME
Leaks that go untreated can cause structural damage, health issues, unnecessary costs, and more. Outside of the obvious dripping faucet, most leaks are hard to detect.
If a fitting on a supply line under your sink breaks and a spray of water come shooting out, you know immediately where the trouble is, but some leaks are a lot sneakier! At worst, water may be trickling slowly from pipe fittings within a wall and go unnoticed until it causes extensive damage. Even if the water meter test indicates that you don’t currently have a leak, one could develop at any point in the future, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for:
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Sound – Do you hear water running even when no water is being used?
- Mildew – Is mildew appearing?
- Higher water bill – Do you notice your water bill going up, without actually using more water?
- Foundation cracks – Are there cracks forming in your walls or flooring?
- Wet spots or hot spots – Are there any wet spots, discoloured spots or hot spots on your floor or walls that appeared unexpectedly?
- Water meter or pump changes – Your water meter or your pump can help determine if you have a leak. If you have a meter, check your meter. Wait an hour or two without using any water and check the meter again. If the reading changed, it could mean that you have a leak. If you use well water and have a pump, listen to hear if it is running when no water is being used. If it is, then you probably have a leak.
- Wall discolouration. This could indicate water leaking from behind the drywall and soaking through to the front side. Water stains on ceilings and walls are usually yellowish or brownish in colour.
- Bubbling paint or bulging wallpaper. Both are signs that the wallboard is wet and the paint or wallpaper is no longer adhering tightly. In some cases, you may also notice a bulge in the wallboard, which indicates the water damage is more extensive and the wallboard will have to be replaced.
- A dripping sound. While some leaks are totally silent—for instance, if water is traveling along a wall stud—other leaks can sometimes be heard, giving you a clue as to the leak’s location.
- A musty smell. Over time, a persistent leak provides the perfect humid environment for mold to grow. In some cases, you may notice black splotches on the outside of the wall, but often, mold will grow inside the wall where you can’t see it, so a musty smell is a red flag.
- All of the above are signs of a leak, but keep in mind that not all water leaks are plumbing leaks. The water could also be coming from a leak in the roof or around a window. Either way, leaks should be addressed promptly to reduce the risk of water damage.
How to Find a Water Leak Underground
Finding underground water leaks can prevent wasted water as well as money from going down the proverbial drain. If you notice a significant increase in your water bill without an obvious cause, it’s a good idea to find out what’s going on as quickly as possible. Neglecting a water leak underground can lead to a host of problems that require costly repairs and replacements. The good news is that professional leak detection services can identify and fix the leaky situation fast. Looking for leak detection on your property? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
If you’re interested in learning how to find a water leak underground yourself, keep reading for the steps to guide you through the process.
Of course, you can always save time and hassle by reaching out to your local Mr. Rooter® Plumbing and letting the pros take it from there.
Check Your Water Meter
- Check your water meter for water usage while your home’s main water valve is shut off. This will help you know for certain whether you have a leak underground. Once located, follow these steps:
- Make sure there is no water running in your home by shutting off your home’s main water valve.
- Look at your water meter for the leak indicator, which is often a small red, white, or blue triangle. The indicator spins when the house is using water. Because you shut off all water to the home, the triangle should be still. If it’s spinning, you have a leak underground.
- If your meter does not have a leak indicator, write down the current meter reading. Leave the main valve off for 30 to 60 minutes. Then, go back to record the meter reading again. If the reading changes although you are running no water in the home, you have a leak underground.
Know Where to Look
- You won’t easily notice signs like water pooling on the floor or the sound of dripping water with underground leaks. Typically, the first thing you will notice is the increase in your water bill. It may happen gradually, over the course of several billing cycles, or suddenly in one month.
Professional Water Leak Detection Services
Determining you have a leak underground is an important first step, but that’s just the beginning. You will need a trusted plumbing professional to pinpoint exactly where the leak is located underground. Some common places for underground leaks to occur are near the home’s shut-off valve and at pipe joints or fittings.
Finding water leaks indoors
Toilet leaks are common. A good way to detect a toilet leak is to remove the top of the tank and listen carefully. You may hear a hissing sound, which is an indication of a leak. Another way to find out if a toilet is leaking is to put a little food colouring in the toilet tank. If there is a leak, it will show in the toilet bowl. You may be able to fix this type of leak without hiring a plumber. It may be the “flapper” valve and you can find replacement parts at most hardware stores, but be sure to turn off the water before you work. Do this with every toilet in your home.
Leaking faucets are obvious, but what about other leaks? Look under your sinks and see if you can detect a leak under the sink. Use a flashlight and look for moisture. If you detect moisture, clear out the cabinet and look for signs of water on the bottom of the cabinet. There may be water stains, mould, buckled or peeling material. These are all indications of a water leak.
Sometimes hot water tanks have leaks. The first thing you should look at is the hot water valve. They can leak frequently and you may have to have the valve replaced. If it isn’t the valve, look for signs of water around the hot water tank. Also listen for a hissing sound, which can be an indication of a water leak. Remember that hot water tanks have hot water in them, so avoid being scalded. It may be a good idea to contact a plumber, who will know how to fix the leak. If the leak is bad, you may have to replace your hot water heater.
Leaks around showers and bathtubs can damage the floor and tiles. A good way to find out if your shower enclosure is leaking is to splash some water on the seams. If the water leaks to the other side, you can use caulk to fix the leak. Bathtub leaks can be harder to detect, but they can do serious damage and may make wood rot under the bathtub. You may be able to see the leak from the crawl space under the tub. Use a flashlight and look for signs of water. You can also look for bathtub leaks by inspecting the floor around the tub. Loose tiles, curling vinyl, peeling paint and mould are all signs of a water leak in the shower or bathtub.
Finding water leaks outdoors
Outdoors, you may also have water leaks. A leaking outdoor faucet is easy to fix, but what about the pipes under the house or underground? One indication can be a damp spot on the ground when there are no damp spots in other locations. You may also notice a damp spot on your driveway or perhaps a puddle forms when there hasn’t been rain.
Another way to detect outdoor leaks is to use a screwdriver. Put the screwdriver against the faucet and place your thumb knuckle against the screwdriver. Use your ear to listen for water leaks. The screwdriver works like a stethoscope and you can hear leaking in the pipes. Go to every outdoor faucet and if the sound is louder in one faucet, you are probably close to the leak.
If you have a swimming pool or spa, they can leak, too. Pools always lose water due to evaporation, but it may be hard to detect if there is a leak. The first step is to check around the filter, heater and pipe valves. Next, look for wet spots around the pool area. Look for wet areas in the soil and sunken or eroded areas. While water does evaporate, you shouldn’t lose more than 5mm or 10mm per day. Place tape at the top of the water line and come back and see how much water has evaporated. If it is more than 10mm, you probably have a leak. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of leak detection Melbourne services.
Sewerage leaks can be hard to detect. Common causes of sewerage leaks are tree roots and leaking joints. You may notice a damp spot, but since sewerage pipes are underground, you may not notice a damp spot. If you suspect a sewerage leak, a plumber can use a camera to find the source of the leak.