Hidden water leaks can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. How bad are they? Well, think about extensive damage to property and skyrocketing water bills and you will get a good idea. Identifying and fixing water leaks promptly is essential to prevent costly repairs and conserve water. However, detecting hidden leaks can be a pretty wearing task, since, as the name suggests, they are hidden and occur within walls, ceilings, or underground. In this short breakdown guide, we will explore effective methods to find hidden water leaks in your home, empowering you to take timely action and protect your property.
Check Your Water Bill
A sudden unexplained increase in your water bill can be an indication of hidden water leaks. Compare your current water bill to previous months’ bills. If there is a significant difference without any apparent reason, it is likely that a hidden leak is causing excess water usage. Investigate further using other methods mentioned in this guide to identify and fix the leak. So, do your best to make a record of previous bills so you can have a simple reference point.
Monitor Water Pressure
Low water pressure in your faucets or showers can indicate a hidden leak in the plumbing system. Try then to perform a water pressure test by attaching a gauge to an outdoor utility. Compare the pressure reading to the recommended pressure for your area. A noticeable difference could point to an internal leak, and you should seek professional assistance to locate and repair it. Benchmarks you will use, however, have a nasty habit of varying depending on state, city, or even neighborhood. For instance, in Australia, the average water pressure sits close to 500 kPa.
Hire a Professional Leak Detection Service
If you feel your DIY skillset is not stacked for these tasks, feel free to ask for help. Professional leak detection services employ advanced equipment, such as infrared cameras, acoustic sensors, and moisture meters, to accurately locate hidden water leaks without causing unnecessary damage to your property. The cost of hiring a professional service is often justified by the savings from early leak detection and repair. So, let’s say you, like in the previous case, live in Australia. You can look for an experienced plumber in Sydney or some other busy area.
Monitor Your Water Meter
A simple and reliable way to check for hidden water leaks is by monitoring your water meter. Start this search by shutting off all related appliances in your home. That includes every single faucet, shower, and any other thing using water. Take note of the current reading on your water meter and avoid using any water for the next 1-2 hours. After the specified time, recheck the meter. If the reading has changed, it indicates that water is still being used, pointing to a potential hidden leak. If you own a smart unit you can set it up to send hourly notifications and make your life even easier.
Perform a Dye Test
Dye tests are effective in identifying leaks in toilets and faucets. To perform a dye test in your toilet, simply add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the toilet tank. If you see colored water in the toilet bowl and you haven’t touched the flush lever, you are dealing with a leak that needs to be addressed. Repeat a similar process for faucets and showerheads. Add dye to the water supply and see what happens half an hour later. Be sure to use some easy-to-clean dye to avoid excessive mess, though.
Use a Listening Device
Listening devices, such as a stethoscope or an electronic leak detector, can help pinpoint hidden water leaks behind walls or underground. Turn off all water-using appliances and sources, ensure complete silence, and put your preferred listening device to good use. The device will do a great job of boosting the sound of the leak, making it easier to detect its location. If you can’t find any of these items, you can try your luck even with a drinking glass with a wide rim.
Hidden water leaks can wreak real havoc on your home, leading to structural damage, high bills, and mountains of frustration. Regular monitoring, visual inspections, dye tests, listening devices, and thermal imaging can help you identify and resolve hidden water leaks. Quick action is essential to prevent further damage and conserve water. Remember, if you encounter persistent issues or face difficulty in locating the leaks yourself, seeking the assistance of a professional leak detection service is a wise investment in preserving your property and saving on costly repairs in the long run.