Plumbing leaks tend to be a pain even when they are relatively easy to detect and fix, imagine the havoc they can wreak when they are hidden or when you don’t even know they exist. These hidden plumbing leaks could become a nightmare.
Somewhere in your home, water could be dripping from your pipes, running up your water bill and promoting the growth of mold, mildew and rot in your woodwork. If left undetected and unrepaired for long, they can cause some serious damage to your home and your pocket. Tracing these hidden leaks can be difficult sometimes, but is necessary to avoid the potential damage they can cause.
FINDING HIDDEN PLUMBING LEAKS
Majority of the plumbing issues and causes of water waste in the home are from silent slow leaks in pipes, appliances and fixtures. This makes detection of these hidden leaks crucial. Therefore we have listed down some of the very basic ways through which you can make sure whether there are hidden plumbing leaks in your home or not.
- Check your water meter
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to tell if you have a leak in some part of your plumbing is to check the water meter. To do this, you’ll first have to turn off all the water in your home. After this, watch the meter and see if it begins to change. If it does, you most probably have a fast-moving leak. If the meter doesn’t change immediately, wait for two hours and check it again. If it has changed despite all the water being off, you may be dealing with a slower leak.
- Look at your usage
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests checking the winter water usage to find out if there is a leak somewhere in your home. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, there is a good probability of having a serious leak problem somewhere in the plumbing system.
- Monitor your bill
If your bill is rising consistently but your water consumption has not changed, a leak may be to blame. You can gather some bills from the past few months and compare them to see if there’s a steady increase. Your water bill should remain constant or within the same range month to month.
- Grab some food coloring
Toilets can account for up to 30 percent of your water use, so you should keep a check to ensure they’re running properly. To test for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait for 10 minutes. If the color shows up in the bowl, it means you have a leak allowing water to flow from the tank to your drain without flushing the bowl.
- Check exterior usage
Leaks don’t just happen inside the home, they can occur outside as well. You can check your outside spigots by attaching a garden hose; if water seeps through the connection while the hose is running, replace the rubber hose gasket and check whether all connections are tight or not. A system with even a small leak could be wasting gallons of water per month.
- Use common sense
Make a practice of regularly checking the back of cabinets and under basins for signs of mold or foul smells that might indicate a leak: this could save you thousands in repairs. Consider having a professional plumber make an annual inspection of your home to check for leaks or potential problems.
Be especially alert if your home is over 25 years old; your plumbing system may be on the declining side of its life expectancy. Inspect all accessible connections at the water heater, pumps, washing machine hoses and valves for oxidation or discoloration – clear signs of a slow leak.
After following the above mentioned procedures, if you come to a conclusion that there are some hidden plumbing leaks in your home, then it’s time to hunt them down.