Home Improvement

How to Detect a Water Leak at Home

Plumbing is one of those things we don’t think about until there’s a problem. It’s hidden in your walls, you’re ceiling and inside cabinets, so it really is out of sight and out of mind.

However, when something goes wrong with your plumbing, you realize just how important it really is! Here’s why you might have developed a leak, and how you can figure out where it is.

Why Does Plumbing Develop Leaks?

The worst thing about being a homeowner is that things go wrong when you least expect it. One day, everything is fine, and the next, it’s not. Unfortunately, plumbing is one of the things that can go wrong unexpectedly, and there are several reasons this might happen.

One reason is age. Like everything else, as your pipes and fittings get older, they will start to weaken, corrode, and wear. The washers in your tapes wear out, sealants get brittle and crack, and pipes might start to vibrate and knock more than they used to as fittings work loose.

Another reason might be that there was a mistake made when installing your plumbing. This might not be apparent immediately, but over time, it could cause failure in the system that might lead to a leak.

Whatever is causing the sudden leak in your home, you need to get it fixed fast! Let’s look at how you can find it.

Finding a Plumbing Leak

If you’re like most people, you will probably want to call a professional to help with plumbing problems. But before you do, it’s worth seeing if you can find the problem yourself. That way, it’ll take less time for them to diagnose and fix the problem.

There are a few things you can do to confirm you have a leak and figure out roughly where it is.

First, look at your water bills for a few months. Have they gone up a lot recently? Are they still increasing? This is a sign that something went wrong, and it’s getting worse.

Next, look at your water meter. Take the reading, then don’t use any water for ten minutes. Check it again, and if it’s moved, you definitely have a leak.

Now that you’ve confirmed there is a leak, it’s time to figure out where:

  • Look inside cabinets in your bathroom and kitchen – check the pipes, and look for water damage to the cabinets and countertops
  • Look at your ceiling, especially close to your hot water cylinder – stains and damp patches are a sign that there might be a leak
  • Put a small amount of food colouring or a toilet cleaner block in your toilet cistern when your toilet is clean, and leave it for a few hours – if you come back to tinted water in the bowl, there’s a leak in your toilet

Time to Call a Professional

Even after you’ve confirmed that you do have a leak, you still need to call a professional. A good plumber can help find and fix water leaks in your home, even when you can’t tell exactly where they are, or what’s causing them.

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