Picture this, you're lying in bed at night when you start to hear a steady tap, tap, tap in the dark. When the mystery forces you to your feet to investigate, you find that it's not someone knocking at your door. It's a homeowner's worst nightmare: a leaky faucet!
You're not alone in this scare! Leaks are common, with 10% of households having leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more each day. These seemingly minor issues can cause surprising waste, damage, and financial loss.
That's why knowing how to detect a water leak is a must for any homeowner. Let's run through how to find leaks at home, when to call an expert, and why you need to fix your leaks ASAP.
The Dangers of a Water Leak
How to Detect a Water Leak
How Plumbers Find Water Leaks
Expert Help for Water Leaks
Call Us to Fix Your Leak
We know what you're thinking: it's just a leak! Why should you raise a red flag for a few drops of water?
The problem is that even a small leak can wreak havoc on your home. If left unattended, this minor issue can snowball into major headaches:
Mold and mildew damage to your belongings
Moisture-related structural damage to your walls or ceiling
Health issues due to mold
Household water contamination
Fire hazards near electrical wiring
Higher utility bills
When you have a leak somewhere in your home, you can expect financial damage over time due to the issues above. Looking around for these plumbing leaks is the best way to avoid serious problems and get your home back in order.
Sometimes, leaks are obvious. Other times they can be a little sneakier. If your water bill rises for no apparent reason, you may have a hidden leak. Other signs of a leak can include musty smells, staining or condensation on walls or ceilings, or even the sound of running water when everything is turned off.
Start by checking the most common household sources of water leaks. Depending on where you suspect your leak, faucets and showerheads are some of the most obvious culprits. Doing a food coloring test on your toilet is also a smart move.
In addition, don't forget to check water-based appliances. Your washing machine, dishwasher, and water heater may be to blame. Puddles or moisture in any of these areas is a red flag.
If you can't find a leak around the common culprits above, check for unusual signs of moisture throughout your home. This might include water stains on your ceiling or walls, moisture collecting on the surface of your indoor AC, or a green patch of grass on your lawn where a buried water line may be leaking.
Last, head out to your water meter. On most properties, you can find it near the street where the water supply line enters your home.
Turn off all faucets and water-hungry appliances and read the meter to look for a leak. Write down what you see, walk away, and come back in an hour. If the reading changes when you return, you may have a leak.
If you suspect a leak or you still aren't sure, it's time to call for backup! A professional plumber has the training and experience to narrow down the source of your leak. For more subtle sources, they can use non-invasive leak detection technology to go beyond the steps above and pinpoint a leak in your home.
Plumbers will often start by checking your water meter, but they won't stop there. Many experts will use special microphones and headphones. With this acoustic technology, they'll listen for the sound of water in places where it shouldn't be.
Another leak detection option is thermal imaging scanners. This technology is great for areas that are too hard to reach or too loud for acoustic tech. With a heat scanner, a plumber can detect small temperature differences to find moisture in your walls or ceiling.
Plumbers may also find water leaks in your home using special waterproof cameras. Experts feed these flexible tools into your pipes, allowing them to look for signs of a leak.
Though you may be able to stop minor leaks by tightening a fitting or addressing a loose showerhead, we don't recommend that you try a DIY solution for a larger leak. Instead, leave the fix to the pros!
Every leak is different. Once a plumber finds the source of your leak, they'll offer specific repair advice for stopping water damage in its tracks.
In some cases, they may need to replace pipes or fittings around your sink, dig to replace a broken sewer pipe or water line, or use special pipe liners to repair a leaking slab. They may change out your toilet's hardware or have you replace an old water heater.
No matter the source or severity of your leak, you can trust that your home is in good hands with an expert plumber!
Knowing how to detect a water leak can help you spot red flags before things go too far. However, it's only the first piece of the puzzle, and you'll have to work fast to keep water damage at bay.
If you suspect a leak but aren't sure where it is or how to address it, you don't have to struggle through the repair alone! Here at Parker & Sons, we're proud to help homeowners throughout the Phoenix metro area with all their repair and maintenance needs. When you need to find a water leak fast, call us at (602) 344-9027.