How to Detect a Leaky Pipe

Having a leak in your home can make it a haven for termites, rot, and mold, not to mention the strain it puts on your utilities bill. Even a slow, gradual leak that does not do much structural damage can cost hundreds of dollars a year in excess water bill, especially if your city runs on a metering system. If you suspect your home has a leaky pipe, there are a few ways to find them and fix them before they create a more serious problem.

Start with the pressure relief valve. This is one of the most common areas for leaks, and if you find one here, the fix is actually fairly easy. Even if you cannot actually remove the drain to physically see if there are any leaks, you may be able to hear a faint hissing, which could indicate a leak.

Check the toilets. Toilets are another common area for leaks, as they have lots of connections and deal with a lot of water pressure on a daily basis. Again, listen for that hissing noise. If you cannot hear a hissing noise, you might want to drop some food coloring into the toilet’s tank. After a few minutes, if the food coloring has leeched into the bowl, you probably have a flapper leak.

Find the water line. After checking your hot water heater and the toilets, your next stop is the water lines themselves. Of course, your water lines are underground, making it impossible to check them without digging them up, right? There is actually an easy way to check and see where your leak is in these lines. Start by shutting off your water, and then looking at your meter. If the meter is still running, you have a leak in the pipes in between your house and the meter. There may also be signs on the surface, like a wet spot.

Other leaks. If the meter does stop running, then the leak is likely inside your home somewhere. Start checking faucets in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as outdoor taps. If any of these are dripping, it could be costing you hundreds of dollars. Look at all the walls inside and outside your home. If any show noticeable signs of damp, your problem may be with a pipe in that wall.

While some people feel confident to fix leaky pipes themselves, if you are not sure exactly how to make the fix, it is vital that you call a plumber who knows how to locate and stop the leaks. For more information about leaky pipes and how to fix them, call Kirkland & Shaw today!

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