3 Easy Ways to Detect Hidden Water Leaks
Did you know that a system with a hidden water leak may be wasting more than 6000 gallons of water every month?
Nobody likes water leaks. A water leak will not only waste a precious natural resource, your money, and your time. It can also lead to a giant mess and possibly ruin your belongings.
Checking for water leaks should be a regular practice, especially if your house is more than 25 years old. Remember, all the piping moving forward from the water meter is the homeowner’s responsibility.
Here are 3 simple ways to detect water leaks:
1. Check Your Water Meter
Turn off all the water source inside and outside your house, including every faucet, toilet flush, and appliance. After that, observe the meter. Is it changing? A change in the meter suggests a fast-moving leak. However, you shouldn’t stop there in case there’s no change. If you observe a small difference in the reading after twenty minutes, it suggests a continuous leak. Also, if there’s a change in the meter after two hours, it shows an extremely slow leak which could be anywhere after your meter, or even underground.
Slow leaks are tough to detect, so you could look for other signs such as oxidation or discoloration in the connections to your water pumps, water heater, washing machine hoses and valves.
2. Check Your Water Usage and Water Bills
You should estimate the normal water usage for your home or office. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a family of four shouldn’t be using more than 12,000 gallons in a month. If your winter water usage exceeds the normal range, there’s probably a leakage in your plumbing.
Monitor your bills to see if it’s above average or shows an unexplained rise. Your water bill should be within a particular range every month if your water habits are staying consistent. A steady increase means that there is a leak somewhere. If you have checked everywhere and haven’t found a leak, it is probably underground. In this case, the best thing to do is to call for professional help.
3. Notice the Little Signs
You may be missing some visible signs of water leakage such as:
- Indoor sources such as leaky faucets and toilet flushes, and outside sources including spigots and garden hoses.
- Sound of running water in your water pipes, especially in your basement, even after turning all the water sources off.
- Dripping water in any part of your water heater or the sound of running water in it when no water source is in use. Don’t attempt to fix the water heater yourself as that might be harmful; get a specialist to fix the problem.
- Foul smells or presence of mold in the back of cabinets and under sinks, which suggests water leakage (molds require moisture to be able to grow).
- Water damage marks such as wet patches, ruined paint, or materials’ textures and colors. You can find such indicators under sinks, in the garden, on ceilings, carpets, walls, or roofs. Also, look for any permanent water puddles in your driveway. It is best to get a contractor or professional plumber to check thoroughly, just to be a hundred percent sure that no leakage goes unchecked.
- A ‘squishy’ feeling at the bottom of your swimming pool, which could indicate a break in the liner.
Taking notice of such signs in time could save you thousands of dollars because unchecked water leakages can result in significant damages. It is a great idea to have your home or office inspected by professional plumbers in detail every year. This way, you can detect and fix any leakage or possible problem before it turns into a huge mess!