Ways to Detect a Water Leak in Your Home

If you have a water leak in your home, it can really cost you. Most homeowners have access to water through the city, and their home is on a meter. That means that you pay for every drop of water that you use, even if that water is lost due to a leak and goes to waste. Even if you use a private well to access water, wasted water still costs you. You are paying for the electricity to run the well pump, and you are using a limited resource; you certainly don’t want to run your well dry without even benefiting from the water that is used.

Water leaks cost homeowners in the form of damage to the home, as well. A leak can damage your walls, floors, and finishings, and can even cause the growth of mold. Repairing the damage caused by a leak can really add up in terms of dollars.

You can avoid these costs by detecting a water leak in your home before the problem escalates. Use these tips to help you find water leaks quickly.

Water Heater Tanks

In order to detect a water leak in your water heater tank, you should check the pressure relief valve. In many cases, the pressure relief valve is directly connected to a drain, so it could be leaking without leaving any evidence. Listen for a hissing sound coming from the water heater tank; that is often a sign of a water leak.


Remove the lid from the toilet tank, and listen for a hissing noise. Just like with a water heater tank, a hissing sound is often an indication of a water leak.

You can also detect a leak in your toilet by adding a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet tank. Wait a few minutes, and then check to see whether the water in the toilet bowl has changed color. If it has, that means that there is a leak in the flapper in the tank that is allowing water to leak from the tank into the bowl. The flapper can easily be replaced.

Meter Line

First, turn off the water shutoff valve that controls the water to the entire house. When you are sure that all of the water is turned off, go to the water meter. It is usually located on the outside of the house. Check the dial on the water meter. If it is still turning while the water is shut off, then there is a leak somewhere between the meter and the house.

Hose Bibs

A hose bib is the faucet that is located on the exterior of the house; you often use it to attach a garden hose. You can listen for running water through the hose bib by using a metal screwdriver to conduct sound, much like a stethoscope. Place the metal tip of the screwdriver against the hose bib, holding the screwdriver with your knuckle between the screwdriver and your ear. Listen carefully for the sound of running water.

You can check indoor faucets using the same process.

These are just a few of the places where you can check your home for water leaks. Even if you can’t find the exact location of a leak, finding an approximation of the source of the leak is helpful both to you and your plumber.

If you suspect a leak, call Scott English Plumbing. We will locate the source of your leak and get it repaired quickly with our water leak detection service. Contact Scott English Plumbing for help today.