Guide to Pipe Leak Detection

You know that it’s important to conserve water. There’s only so much to go around. Wasting water is like flushing money down the drain; you have to pay for your water supply, so you want to be responsible with the water that you use.

There are two main ways in which water gets wasted. The first way that water is wasted is that it is used irresponsibly; we leave water running when we aren’t using it, or we use fixtures that consume more water than is necessary. The second way in which water is wasted is through leaks. In this case, you may not know that water is being wasted or that the leak exists at all. Finding the leak can save you water and money.

You’re probably taking a lot of little steps to cut down on your water consumption already. Maybe you’ve switched to low-flow fixtures or shortened your showers. Now it’s time to make sure that you aren’t inadvertently letting water go to waste through leaks. There’s no sacrifice required here; just repair those leaks, and you can stop paying for water you weren’t using anyway.

Pipe leaks can be very damaging to your home. Not only do they waste water, but they can also ruin your house. If you don’t know the leak is there, it can infiltrate your home for months. This water can run through your floors, walls, and the foundation of your house. As this happens, mold and mildew can accumulate. The structure of your home can be permanently damaged.

For these reasons, it is important to pay attention to your water bill. Don’t just pay the bill and throw it away; take note of your water usage. Has the number increased significantly since the previous month? If your water bill keeps creeping up, but you aren’t using any more water than usual, then it could be that you have a hidden pipe leak. You should also pay attention for any soft spots in the drywall or moldy spots on the walls, which are additional signs of leaks and water damage.

What Makes Pipes Leak?

Many homeowners wonder why a pipe would suddenly start leaking if there hasn’t been any physical damage to the pipe. There are many different circumstances that can cause a pipe to leak. One of the most common reasons that pipes leak is a drastic change in temperature. When the temperature changes, the water in the pipes expands and contracts. When it is winter and the pipes are very cold, and suddenly a rush of hot water runs through the pipes, it can cause the pipe to crack. Frozen pipes can also crack due to the pressure created inside the pipe. Here are some tips to avoid frozen pipes.

Pipes can also begin to leak as they get older. As pipes age, they can begin to corrode and rust. This wears away at the pipe, and causes leaks to develop. If you see any signs of corrosion on your pipes, be sure to have them checked out by a plumber right away. Signs you need a re-pipe.

Finding the Leak

Leaks aren’t always easy to find. Sometimes they hide in tricky places. There are things that you can do to find them, though. Try these tips. Call Scott English Plumbing to find your plumbing leak and repair it for you quickly and easily.

When you are trying to find a hidden leak, the first thing to remember is to be aware. Look closely and listen carefully. Watch out for these indicators of leaks:

  1. 1. You are aware of the sound of running water, but the water isn’t turned on anywhere in the house. Before you jump to conclusions, though, make sure that there isn’t water in use that you aren’t aware of. Is the ice maker in the freezer running? Did someone just flush the toilet? Is the washing machine filling?
  2. 2. Your water meter shows increased usage, but you haven’t used any water. You can test this out. Go to your water meter, and write down the reading. For the next hour, don’t use any water at all. Make sure you don’t have any water running that you may have forgotten about. Wait an hour, and then check the reading on the water meter again. If the reading has changed, then you probably have a leak somewhere in the house.
  3. 3. Your water bill keeps getting higher. Think about whether you have been using more water than usual. Did you fill your swimming pool? Did you have overnight guests? Have you been watering the lawn? If your usage seems to be continually higher but you aren’t aware of using more water, then you may have a leak.
  4. 4. You have damp spots on your floors or walls. There may be discolored patches, as well. Before you panic, make sure that the kids didn’t spill a glass of water on the floor. If there is no obvious solution for a damp patch on the floor, then it could be that you have a pipe leak.
  5. 5. The house smells bad or smells damp. The odor may be especially bad near drains. If the house smells damp or musty or like sewer gas, then you may have a pipe leak.
  6. 6. There are cracks in the foundation of the house. These may be visible from the exterior of the house or in the basement. Foundation cracks can be caused by damage from water leaks.
  7. 7. Your house is built on a slab foundation, and you can feel that the floor is warm in certain areas. If the floor feels warm or damp, this can be a sign of a slab leak.
  8. 8. You have a dripping faucet. That little drip doesn’t seem like much, but it can use up a lot of water – thousands of gallons per year, in fact. A leaky faucet isn’t likely to cause major damage to your home, but it will cost money every month on your water bill. Fixing it is usually as simple as replacing the washer in the faucet, which usually costs under $2.
  9. 9. Your toilet keeps running. Again, this usually won’t cause major damage, but it does cost money. A running toilet can usually be fixed by replacing the flapper, which typically costs less than $10.

Be aware of the signs of a pipe leak. If you hear running water, notice damp spots on the floors or walls, smell a bad odor, or notice an increase in your water bills, then you may have a pipe leak. Get in touch with a professional plumber for pipe leak detection services right away.

If you suspect a pipe leak, contact the professionals at Scott English Plumbing. We have been serving residents of Orange County for more than 15 years. We handle all types of routine plumbing services, and we’re also available 24/7 for emergencies. Whenever you have a plumbing problem, call Scott English Plumbing.