Water Leak Detection FAQ

A leaking pipe in CA.

Have you recently noticed a spike in your water bill even if there have been no changes in your water consumption? Is there a drop in the water pressure in your home? These are potential signs of water leaks that can be extremely damaging and costly to your home. However, these are not the only signs that you need to be aware of. There are also other factors that you must consider when it comes to water leak detection so let’s take a look at the commonly asked questions.

1. What causes leaks?

There are several reasons why leaks can occur in your home regardless of its age. Sometimes homeowner have the wrong notion that just because they have a new home they are free from water leak problems. This kind of thinking is what makes it very dangerous and costly. In general, factors and conditions come together creating the water 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.

Some of the other issues that should be of concern to every homeowner should be corrosion, deterioration of the pipes, shifting of the pipes, increased water pressure, poor installation or workmanship, condition of the soil, and accidents among others. Any or a combination of these conditions will result in unwanted water leaks.

2. What are the indications of a water leak?

How can you know if you really have a water leak or its just precipitation or an after effect of the weather? Unless you have been properly trained or have the necessary equipment, you cannot really be certain. But, there are some indicators that you can use to at least establish whether you are looking at a water leak and act accordingly.

You should suspect that you have a water leak when you:

  • Pooling of water on the ground surface;
  • Potholes, heaving, or cracking of concrete or foundation;
  • Damp or unusual coloration of the soil;
  • Damp spots on floors and walls;
  • Bad odors in your house, and specifically around drains;
  • You have a continously running toilet or dripping sink;
  • Sudden drop in water pressure or volume;
  • Abnormally lush and green lawns or landscape areas;
  • Steady and unexplained climb in water consumption and billing;
  • You hear running water;
  • Dirty or rusty water supply;
  • Your water bills are inexplicably rising; and
  • Running water meter even when all plumbing fixtures and water appliances are turned off.

3. What information do I have to provide the plumbing service?

To help in the proper detection and repair of the water leak, it would be of great help to be able to provide pertinent information to the plumbing service while on the phone. This ensures better success in detecting and repairing the problem. Some of the things you need to be aware of should include:

  • Possible location of the pipe;
  • Type of pipe you have;
  • Size of the pipe;
  • Location of the shutoff valve;
  • Access to the valves; and
  • Availability of utility maps.

You may not have some or all of these information, but there is no need to worry. The lack of information does not mean impossible water leak detection.

4. What makes water leak detection difficult?

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.

There are certain factors that can worsen the plumbing condition in your home to the point that it becomes difficult to detect water leaks. This is why the services of a professional plumber becomes extremely important in times like these. Factors that can affect proper leak detection are:

  • Current water usage;
  • Traffic and environmental noise;
  • Machinery; and
  • Use of other nearby utilities.

5. Is it alright to ignore a water leak if it does not cause harm?

Regardless whether a water leak is causing harm or not, it is never a wise decision to ignore it. Remember that water leaks are problems and the only way to address a problem is to solve it. Keep in mind that if left unattended, these small leaks will eventually turn into something bigger, more destructive, and substantially more expensive. So, deal with the water leaks while they are small and manageable to save yourself from a lot of aggravation.

6. How much does water leak detection cost?

Rates for water leak detection can vary substantially depending on the experience of the professional plumbing service and the type of equipment that needs to be used. The time and location will also be factored in. To have a better idea of the cost, call Scott English Plumbing today for a free estimate.