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How To Detect A Water Leak: Tips From Professional Plumbers

Plumber Fixing A Leaking Pipe

Unnoticed water leaks can cause untold damage to your home. It’s not just about wasting water or higher bills, but the concealed damage to your walls, floors and foundations that causes serious problems. Early detection is important to nip the issue in the bud. In this article, we’ll give you some handy tips to detect water leaks.

Examining The Water Meter: Your First Clue

One of the simplest ways to check for a water leak is by keeping an eye on your water meter. Here’s a straightforward guide to doing just that:

  1. Stop All Water Usage: Ensure every water outlet, both inside and outside your property, is closed. This includes faucets, washing machines, dishwashers and any irrigation systems.
  2. Record the Initial Reading: Note down the digits displayed on your water meter. Your meter may show black and red numbers – record all for complete accuracy.
  3. Wait Without Using Any Water: Leave your property undisturbed for about two hours. During this period, make sure no water is used.
  4. Take a Second Reading: If the reading now differs from your initial observation, it’s a strong indicator of a possible leak.

Listen For The Telltale Drip

Don’t underestimate your hearing. Sometimes, the most obvious sign of a water leak is the sound. Whether it’s a subtle drip or a continuous rush of water, these sounds shouldn’t be ignored. When all is quiet in your home, take a moment to listen. It could be the difference between a minor fix and a major renovation.

Look For Excess Moisture Or Discolouration

Sometimes you don’t always hear a leak, but rather see it. Water leaks can create water stains on ceilings, bubbling in paint on your walls and eventually creating patches of mould or mildew. If you suspect you have a leak, here are some areas to check out:

  • Under Sinks: A common spot for leaks, these can be caused by everything from a worn-out washer to a damaged valve. Signs of leakage include damp spots or pooling water on the cabinet floor.
  • Bathroom: Water leaks in the bathroom can emanate from various sources including the bathtub, sink, toilet or shower. Look out for persistent wet spots, mildew growth or peeling paint or wallpaper.
  • Laundry Area: The area around your washing machine or laundry tub could also hide leaks. Watch for unexplained moisture, warping of nearby flooring or mould growth.

Monitor Your Bills

An unexpected increase in your water bill could be a red flag for a hidden leak, especially if your water usage patterns haven’t significantly changed. Look at previous bills from the same period last year, to compare your water usage. If you see any inconsistencies, it’s always best to investigate further.

Use Food Colouring In Your Toilet Tank

It may sound odd, but this simple home test can be quite revealing. Just follow these steps:

  1. Colour Your Water: Add several drops of food colouring to your toilet tank.
  2. Wait: Don’t flush for about 30 minutes.
  3. Check the Bowl: If the coloured water appears in the toilet bowl, there’s likely a leak in your toilet’s flapper or fill valve.

When In Doubt, Call In The Professionals

Detecting water leaks isn’t always easy. Leaks can be subtle and easy to miss, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. The team at Expert Plumbing & Solar Services are always ready to assist. Our skilled plumbers are equipped to handle all aspects of leak detection and repair, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.