Imagine coming home from a long, relaxing vacation, only to find your bathroom floor is soaked with water. And when you check your water bill, it almost doubled. Not a very fun way to end a vacation. Not only will you have to dry out the floor, but you could be facing mold problems as well. Yuck!
The point is that even small water leaks can turn into a major headache if not taken care of right away. That’s easier said than done, however, because water leaks can be small and almost impossible to see. But there are a few ways you can detect leaks early, or at the very least, know you have a leak somewhere in your house and need a plumber.
Here are a few ways to detect water leaks in your house.
- Pay attention to your water bill. Unless you’re paying a flat monthly rate, your bill will fluctuate from month to month. If your usage has remained constant, but your bill keeps increasing, you probably have a leak somewhere in your house.
- Check your toilet. This is a common place to find leaks, and they often go unnoticed. A very simple test you can perform is to put a few drops of food coloring in the tank (NOT the bowl) of the toilet. If colored water appears in the bowl within about 15 minutes, then your flapper valve is leaking by not creating a watertight seal. Fixing this depends on the cause and severity of the problem.
- Check your faucets. These are another common area for leaking water. Even a slow dripping faucet can add up to a lot of wasted water, and money, per year. Because there are many different types of faucets, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
- Use your water meter. Your house’s water meter cannot only detect large leaks, but also several smaller leaks. To do this test you need to turn off all the water inside and outside your home. Then, record the meter reading. Wait at least 15 minutes (ensuring no one is using any water) and check the meter again. If the reading increased after 15 minutes, then water is leaking from somewhere.
- Visual detection. Just keeping your eyes open can detect many leaks. For example, look around the pipes inside your home for wet spots or unusual condensation. Outside your home, check for any wet spots in the grass that never seem to go away – this could be an underground leak.
Of course, prevention is always the better than the cure. This means you should be proactive in maintaining your home’s plumbing system. If you notice pipes are getting old and rusty, have them replaced. If you have cold weather, take precautions to prevent any pipes from freezing. Finally, keep your appliances, like washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters maintained. They can be a big source for water leaks.
If you suspect a water leak in your house, your best option is to call contact us and we can find the problem and fix it the correct way. Also, even if you don’t suspect a water leak, but think your plumbing can use a little updating, we can discuss whatever needs or concerns you have.