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One of the most refreshing things for relaxing after a tiring day is taking a nice, cold bath. 

As you open the tap and feel the first drops of cold water, all your problems dissipate quickly. But just then, you pick up on a strange smell and hear a gurgling sound coming from the pipelines. 

What you should do at once is call a plumber because these are signs of a leaking pipe. The trouble is that plumbing leakages can be hard to find, so here’s a quick guide on spotting a plumbing leak and calling in professional help.

The Signs Of A Plumbing Leak

Leaking Basin In Bathroom Causing Water Damage

1. Water Bill 

The biggest giveaway that something is wrong with the plumbing is the water bill. A higher monthly water bill means that you have been consuming more water than usual due to a leak. 

If you have the previous bills, check how much the average monthly consumption was and compare it to the current month. In most cases, even minor leaks could result in thousands of dollars of extra payment, so checking the bills is good practice. 

2. Water Metre 

Once your spidey-sense tingles about the possibility of finding a leak, it would be best to check the water metre. You can find it in places where the temperature doesn't drop below freezing levels, such as underneath the manhole cover, the back or the side of the house, etc. 

You need to turn off all the faucets, unplugging every appliance that needs a water supply, like washing machines and dishwashers. Then, take the metre reading and return after an hour to tally the results. 

If the numbers have changed, you can be sure that there's a leak, but where exactly? To determine if the leak is inside or outside the house, you'll have to turn off the shut-off valve from the utility room or basement shut-off valve. 

Head out to the water metre again and take its readings, remembering to verify the numbers after an hour. When there's no change, the leak is inside the house, but the problem lies in the pipeline connecting to your home when there's a slight change. 

3. Green Grass 

An easy way to detect plumbing leaks is to check the lawn for patches of green grass. When certain lawn areas are greener than others, you can bet your bottom dollar that there's a leaking pipe underneath the soil. You can even see puddles of water on the ground in case of large leaks. 

4. Testing The Toilet 

Check the toilet once you've ascertained that the leak is indoors, as most plumbing issues originate in the bathroom. We have seen that the toilet flapper in many Aussie homes deteriorates with time, unable to prevent water from entering the bowl before you flush

As a result, a steady stream of water flows from the tank into the bowl, and the only way to know for sure is to conduct a dye test. You need to add a few drops of colouring dye to the tank and wait for a few minutes. 

If the tank is leaking, the water in the bowl will change colours, following which you can call a professional plumber. 

5. Checking Appliances 

Like the toilet, you need to check other appliances that use water, especially under the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. So, look for puddles around the tub, sink, or shower and under dishwashers, water heaters or the washing machine. 

After locating the faulty supply line, turn off the appliance and shut off valve before calling a plumber. 

6. Leak Detectors 

Thanks to leak detectors, finding plumbing leaks has become easier, especially when living in an old home where pipes are corroding from the inside. In some cases, pipes may freeze and burst during extremely low temperatures, but the shrill alarm of a leak detector will make you aware of the problem. 

We prefer battery-operated detectors since they can trace even minor leakages, allowing you to fix the issue before it becomes serious. 

7. Other Techniques To Detect Leaks 

Apart from the points mentioned above, there are a few common signs associated with leaking pipes. 

Water Damage On Roof From Plumbing Leak

1. Musty Odour 

Sometimes, it's possible to pick up on a musty smell even before you spot the leak because persistent leaks create the perfect habitat for mould to grow. This is often accompanied by black patches on the walls, which you should remove promptly. 

2. Discolouration 

Continuous leakages from behind the drywall soak even the external wall, changing the wall colour to yellow or brown. '

3. Dripping Noise 

At times, you can hear water travelling through the walls, and in much the same way, you can identify a leak when there's a constant dripping sound. 

4. Bulging Wallpaper 

If the wall paint develops bubbles or the wallpaper appears bulging, it can no longer adhere to the walls. This usually points to extensive water damage, with the only solution being to replace or renovate the affected areas. 

Locating A Leak At Your Property

We have come to the end of today's guide on finding a plumbing leak

You should know that plumbing leaks are pretty common, so having the contact details of a professional plumber or certified company is essential to resolve most issues quickly. Regular maintenance plays a vital role in keeping the pipes in good condition for several years.

But even then, it's impossible to prevent deterioration; that's why conducting inspections is vital to detect plumbing issues quickly. 

Talk to the team at WP Plumbing if you are having problems finding a plumbing leak. Our Melbourne plumbers can locate your leak and provide an affordable, permanent solution with our equipment and expertise. Contact us today!

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