A water leak is a fairly common plumbing problem. The hard part is often recognizing you have a leak so it can be found and repaired. You might see a puddle of water on the floor or hear water spewing behind a wall, but water leaks are often much less obvious. Here are things you can do to find a water leak and things a residential plumber can do if you can't figure out where the leak is coming from.
Things To Check When You Think A Pipe Is Leaking
If you've looked at all the exposed pipes in your home, such as the ones in the basement and under sinks, and you can't find the leak, it's time to investigate for a hidden leak. Look outdoors for patches of lush, healthy grass since these could indicate a water leak under the ground. If you have a recent water bill, compare the cost and gallons of usage against previous bills. If you've used roughly the same amount of water, a spike in your bill could indicate a leak somewhere.
You can also check your water meter by writing down the numbers and then checking it again in an hour to see if the numbers are the same. Be sure you don't turn on any faucets or flush the toilet while you wait because you want to detect only leaking water.
Another trick is to put blue food coloring in your toilet tank. If the water in the bowl turns blue too, there's a leak in your toilet and you may need a residential plumber to find out why your toilet is leaking and then repair the problem.
Things A Residential Plumber May Check
A plumber can use leak detection tools that not only verify a leak is present but also narrow down the location of the leak. They might use a water pressure gauge. They can attach the gauge to a faucet and turn the faucet on and note the pressure. Then when they turn the faucet off, they'll watch for a drop in pressure. If there is no drop, there isn't a leak.
If a leak is found due to a pressure drop, the plumber isolates various parts of your plumbing system and tests again to figure out where the leak is located. A plumber might also use a listening device to listen for the leak. They can start where they suspect a leak could be, such as under the slab, and then slowly move the listening device to pick up changes in sound. By following sound changes, the plumber can go right to the source of the leak.
A moisture meter or thermal camera might be handy too, as these can reveal water running behind walls. If water is detected, the plumber may need to use a small video camera on a cable and poke it through the wall to look around for the leak. If the leak is found, the wall will be opened up to make repairs.
For more info, contact a local residential plumber.