If you find or suspect a water leak in your home, tracing it to the source quickly is necessary to avoid potential water damage that can get very costly to repair. Identifying the leak’s source depends largely on the type of leak happening. A leaking pipe under the sink is far easier to identify than to find one that is hidden within a wall or in the ceilings.
Check the Water Meter
One of the easiest ways to tell if your home has a water leak is to check the water meter. Go to the water meter, typically located near the main water shut-off of your home. Note exactly where the water meter reads and write it down or take a photo of it with your phone. Confirm that you have a water leak by shutting off your water-using appliances and fixtures. This includes faucets, showers, washing machines and refrigerators. Check back in a few hours, just make sure all the water stayed off. If the reading has advanced, this indicates a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
Wherever possible, carefully move appliances to look for the source of the moisture. For example, a loose or damaged water line to a dishwasher will leak water under and around the appliance.
Kitchen & Bathrooms
Open all cabinets under your sinks and clear out supplies and other products so you can more easily examine the space for water, dampness, stains, mold or mildew, and buckled or peeling material. Shine a bright light inside to look for moisture around all the joints and at the bottom of the P trap. Signs of a leaking pipe may also include corrosion on the supply lines, and pipe fittings and valves. If possible, tighten fittings and wipe away any moisture present.
Turn your water back on to see if you still have a water leak problem. Sometimes the leak is in the supply valve or line, and it will be evident when the supply is turned off and then activated again. If this is the problem, have the leaking supply line replaced.
Like any plumbing problem, attending to it quickly can save you a lot of money in repairs. If your house is more than 20 years old, your plumbing system may require a professional inspection.
Floors, Walls & Ceilings
Water leaks can be tricky to find. Try these tips to look for any that may be inside walls, above ceilings, or on the floor:
- Examine the flooring around fixtures and appliances that use water, including toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Cracked or warped flooring or soft, “spongy” spots in the floor most likely mean moisture is present and a possible leak.
- Check the ceilings throughout your home. Stains on the ceiling indicate a leak somewhere coming from above.
- Also examine the walls in your home for water damage, such as bubbled paint, stains and cracks. Leaking water pipes may also leave wet spots on the wall. But the location of this damage is not usually the exact location of the leak. Water may run the length of a broken pipe and pool at a different location in the wall.
Contact us to inspect for, confirm, and repair the leak BEFORE you begin ripping out walls or floors.
Basements & Crawlspaces
Inspect all the exposed pipes you can see in your basement and crawlspaces. Moisture and/or corrosion around the pipes are an easy indicator you have a leak.
If you discover rotted wood, mildew around these pipes, your leak is most likely in this area. Water will travel downward because of gravity, and occasionally the location of water stains is not the exact location of a leaking water pipe. Still, it is a good indicator of the general area of the source of moisture.
Checking Outside the Home
Walk the circumference of your home and check hoses, spigots, and (if you have one) the irrigation system. Just a tiny pinhole leak can account for losing and wasting over 6,300 gallons of water a month.
Call A Trusted, Trained Plumbing Professional
If you have any plumbing problems or concerns at all, give us a call today at (402) 932-3899 or visit our website at anaplumbing.com. Since 2009, A & A Plumbing & Drain Services is the leading plumber serving Douglas and Sarpy counties and surrounding areas. We offer commercial and residential plumbing services, drain cleaning, water heaters, and much more.