When it comes to water leaks, what you don’t know (or see) can hurt you. Even a small leak can become a big problem and cause major damage to your home and cost you a substantial amount of money. That’s why finding the source of the leak early is of the best ways to avoid a disaster.
If you’re suspicious that you may have a hidden water leak in your plumbing, here are a few ways you can check.
- Look for signs of water damage. Take some time to go around your home and inspect for any evidence of leaks. Some places to check are inside a vanity beneath a sink, by a hot water heater, near a sump pump, an outside hose bib, or in the basement where pipes may be visible. Pay close attention for mold, odd smells, or the sounds of water running where it shouldn’t be.
- Take a look at your water bill. Most households use roughly the same amount of water each month or pay period. So if you look back through a few water bills and notice a sudden or unexplained increase (and your habits haven’t changed), that may be a sign that you have a leak hidden somewhere on your property.
- Check your toilets. If you’ve noticed that your toilet starts running randomly to refill when not in use, that often means the flapper in the tank is worn out and water is slowly dripping into the bowl. A quick way you can verify this is by adding a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Wait 15 minutes (don’t flush the toilet during this time), and if the water in the bowl is now colored, then the internal assembly needs to be repaired or replaced.
- Test your water meter. Your home’s water meter can give you an idea if water is flowing through your pipes without you noticing. First, turn off any faucets or appliances that use water. Then, take a look at your water meter and note the reading. Keep all the water turned off, wait two hours, and recheck the meter. If the reading is significantly different, that means you may have a leak somewhere after the meter.
- Don’t forget outside usage. Depending on the season, you may be using (or losing) a lot of water outside your home. Check to make sure all outside faucets and irrigation systems are working properly.
Hidden leaks are not to be taken lightly or ignored. While you can often find the source of the problem yourself, keep in mind that a good portion of your plumbing is below ground or behind walls. When in doubt, call Rick’s Plumbing at (203) 874-6629 so we can diagnose and fix the leak before it becomes an even bigger problem.