How to Trace a Plumbing Pipe Leak

Water is an essential resource that every household relies on. However, water quickly becomes an enemy if there is a leak, and it goes where it shouldn’t.

At times, tracing a Plumbing pipe leak can be tricky. Regardless, detecting a leak earlier can save a lot of money and avert severe damages to your property.

Finding a pipe leak largely depends on the type of leak you have. For instance, it is easy to detect a leak under your sink compared to finding leaks underground or in ceilings.

Here is how to trace a plumbing pipe leak.

Confirm Your Water Meter

One of the best and easy ways to trace a leak is to check your water meter. First, you will have to make sure that no individual or appliance is using the water. You can also turn off the main water supply pipe. Next, go to the water meter and to check whether it continues to change. If it does, there is a good chance you have a fast-moving leak.

If the water meter does not change, do not assume that there is no leak. Some leaks are slow-moving but still pose a huge threat. Therefore, wait for up to five hours to be sure.

If the water meter doesn’t change during the test, the chances are that the leak is in the house. On the other hand, if the meter changes, the leak is in the pipe that runs into the house.

Monitor Your Water Bill

As mentioned at St Petersburg plumbing, Your water bill should remain consistent as long as you do not change your water usage habits. Therefore, when you notice your water bills start to hike consistently, the chances are that there is a pipe leak in your property.

Regardless, you have to pay the amount indicated on your water bill. It is why it is essential to find and repair the leak immediately. If you can’t identify a leak, hiring a plumber is always an option.

To confirm a leak, you can move appliances around to see if there is moisture present.

Acquire Some Food Coloring

The reason for acquiring some food color is to dye test the toilet. Toilets account for approximately 30% of your total water use. It is, therefore, advisable to confirm that there are no leaks. To check for leaks, pour the food color into the toilet tank and wait for at least ten minutes. Do not flush the toilet.

If you start to notice the coloring on your toilet bowl, then there is a leak. In most cases, such a leak occurs when the flapper becomes brittle. As a result, it allows the water to trickle down from the tank and into the bowl. You can replace the flapper yourself or contact a plumber.

Pay Attention to Leaking Clues

Some plumbing pipe leaks are easy to spot. Unfortunately, others are not. Most of the time, you only notice them after causing extensive damage.

Therefore, you must do regular inspections to detect plumbing leaks early and save yourself from paying a lot of money for repairs. You can check behind cabinets, under basins, and in the ceilings for any signs that indicate a plumbing pipe leak.

Owners of properties that are more than two decades old should be more vigilant because their plumbing system is more likely to leak.

Pipe leaks can develop at any given time in the future. Even after the meter test confirms there is no leak, it is advisable to stay alert and pay attention to leaking clues. Here are some of the common clues.

Wall discoloration

If you start to notice a brownish or yellowish color form on your wall or ceiling, the chances are that the plumbing pipes are leaking. It also indicates that the water is leaking from behind the wall or ceiling.

Bulging wallpaper or bubbling paint

Both indicate that the wallboard is soaked with water. When you notice a bulge, it means that the water damage is extensive. You will have to repair both the leak and the wallboard.

Musty smell

With time, persistent leaking creates an ideal environment that supports the growth of mold. In most cases, you cannot see the mold. However, you can smell its musty smell.

Dripping sound

Even though most leaks are silent, you can hear some. The dripping sound of leaking water gives you a hint of the leak’s location.

Check for Greener Patches of Grass

Every homeowner wants a lush lawn. However, if you start to notice that some parts of your yard have greener or longer grasses’, confirm whether there is a pipe leak. You are likely to see a puddle of water if the leaking is profuse.

Conduct a Routine Check on Appliances and Fixtures

Investigate your appliances and fixtures anytime or when you suspect there is a pipe leak. If you come across puddles of water in your home, the chances are that there is a leak that needs repair. Appliances you can investigate include dishwashers, water heaters, washing machines, bathtubs, showers, and toilets.

The first thing you do after discovering a pipe leak is to turn off the supply valve. After that, call a professional plumber to help fix the leak.

There are leaks that you can fix yourself. For instance, if the level of water in the toilet tank is high, it will spill. You can bend the toilet’s float arm downwards or turn the adjustment screw to stop the leak.

Use Leak Detectors

Plumbing pipe leaks are unpredictable. They can happen a day after installation or after thirty years. Additionally, some fixtures are more likely to leak than others. Therefore, it is advisable to use leak detectors that notify you immediately there is a leak. They emit a high-pitched sound whenever they detect water.

Following the above tips will help you trace a plumbing pipe leak in time and before there is severe damage. Even though you can fix the leaks, it is advisable to hire a professional plumber. Plumbers use advanced equipment to accurately and quickly detect leaks.

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