A plumbing leak is never a good thing, and the key to avoiding any costly plumbing issues is to be proactive about finding and fixing leaks. Even if you have to call a plumber, calling one to find and fix a small leak will always be less expensive than waiting until things get really serious.
Signs you might have a leak
This might seem obvious at first. Surely if I have a leak I’ll see a puddle of water on the floor or water gushing out somewhere? But leaks aren’t always so easy to detect. Sometimes the early signs are subtle enough to go unnoticed, yet finding them at that stage will save you a lot of trouble later.
Your water pressure has dropped
If your water pressure slowly goes down in just one faucet, you probably just need to clean the aerator or get a new showerhead. But if the problem is sudden or you notice it at all your faucets, you could have a serious leak somewhere you can’t see.
You hear noise in the plumbing
If you hear odd gurglings, clicking, or splashing when no water is running or immediately after shutting off the water or flushing the toilet, you will want to get this check out. You can isolate where in the system the problem is coming from by shutting off everything and turning things on one pipe at a time.
You notice wet spots on wall or ceiling
Depending on the color of your walls, these may be difficult to notice. It doesn’t hurt to regularly look around and make sure no walls are damp. Checking the ceiling may demand that you be more deliberate, because most of us don’t spend much time looking at our ceilings without a reason.
Your driveway or lawn are always wet
If you notice a patch of wetness or damp softness in your driveway, there could be a leak underneath that is keeping it from ever drying out. The same holds true if you have patches of your lawn that remain damp and spongy even when there’s been no rain.
Your water bill is too high
If you’ve noticed a change in your water bill when there have been no changes in the household water usage habits, this is usually a sign there’s a leak.
How do I know for sure if I have a leak?
To quickly find out for sure if you have a leak, you can use your water meter. Note that this won’t tell you where the leak is, but it will just confirm that you have one. If you find out you have one, you’ll want to call for water leak detection services to find out exactly where it is.
To use your meter to check for a leak:
- Turn off all the taps and all the appliances that use water (washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, etc)
- If you have faucets that drip, turn off the water to those sinks
- Find your water meter and write down the numbers on all the dials
- Wait 30 minutes and write down all the dial numbers again
If the numbers are different the second time you record them, then you have a leak.
Getting more specific help
Even if you haven’t seen any obvious signs of a leak, it doesn’t hurt to get water leak detection occasionally just to make sure that a leak isn’t going unnoticed. The benefit of getting professionals in to find the leak is that they can immediately get to work resolving the issue.
If you have a leak, or suspect you might, be sure to call in professional help as soon as you can. Plumbing problems never get better on their own, and it’s always better to fix them sooner rather than later.