Do I Have A Plumbing Leak?
Do you suspect there is a plumbing leak at home but don’t know how to find the problem? Read our guide to learn about the common signs you need to look out for.
A friendly, cold bath is one of the most refreshing things to relax after a tiring day.
As you open the dripping taps 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 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 water bill is the biggest giveaway that something is wrong with the plumbing. A higher monthly water bill means you have consumed more water than usual due to hidden leaks.
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 water leaks could result in thousands of dollars of extra payment, so checking the bills is good practice.
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 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 must turn off all the faucets and unplug 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 there’s water leaking, but where? You’ll have to turn off the utility room or basement shut-off valve to determine if the leak is inside or outside the house.
Head 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.
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 water leaks.
Check the toilet once you’ve ascertained that the leak is indoors, as most plumbing issues originate from a leaky toilet. 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 must add a few drops of colouring dye to the tank and wait a few minutes.
If the tank leaks, the water in the bowl will change colours, following which you can call a licensed plumber.
You must check other water appliances like the toilet cistern, especially under the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. So, look for puddles around the tub, sink, shower, and under dishwashers, water heaters or washing machines.
After locating the faulty supply line, turn off the appliance and shut off the valve before calling a plumber.
Thanks to leak detectors, finding plumbing leaks has become more accessible, especially in an old home with pipes rusting from the inside. In some cases, pipes may freeze and burst during shallow 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 severe.
Apart from the abovementioned points, a few common signs are associated with leaking pipes.
Sometimes, picking up on a musty smell is possible before you spot the leak because persistent leaks create the perfect habitat for mould growth. This is often accompanied by black patches on the walls, which you should remove promptly.
Continuous leakages from behind the drywall soak even the external wall, changing the wall colour to yellow or brown.
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.
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 replacing or renovating the affected areas.
We have come to the end of today’s guide on finding a plumbing leak.
You should know that plumbing leaks are pretty standard, so having the contact details of a professional plumber or certified company is essential to resolve most issues quickly. Regular maintenance is vital in keeping the pipes in good condition for several years.
But even then, it’s impossible to prevent deterioration, so 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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