Water leaks can be quite problematic. Not only will they make you pay more on utility bills, but they can also cause really serious structural damage, which would be very expensive to fix.
The big problem with water leaks is that they are often identified after creating serious damage. This is why it is so important to be aware of the signs that you might have a water leak. Always do the following and it will be easier to detect water leaks in walls and other harder-to-reach areas.
Monitor Your Water Bill
For most users, the monthly water bill is predictable. When you receive a very high one and you know you did not excessively use water, there is a very good possibility you have a leak. Statistics show that a family made out of 4 people usually uses under 12,000 gallons during a month. The only exception is given by some summer months. With small leaks, around 10,000 gallons can be lost per year. More is lost when the leak is larger.
Watch Your Water Meter
This is one of the easiest ways to detect water leaks in walls. With regular fixtures, you can see when they leak. With pipes located in harder-to-reach areas, this is close to impossible. This is why you need to check the water meter from time to time. We are talking about the main one, which you normally find outside your home, close to the main water supply line.
Do the following to identify a leak:
- Turn off absolutely all water sources inside the home.
- Look at the water meter.
- Write down the numbers.
- Get back to the water meter in around one hour.
- Check the numbers again.
If you see that the numbers are different, there is a leak somewhere. Determine if it is present inside the home or outside it by shutting off the main water supply valve. Then, repeat the check. When numbers change, the leak is somewhere in the main water line.
Is The Grass Greener In Some Areas?
When a part of the yard stands out since it is much greener, it might be so because the water line under the ground is leaking. When the leak is serious, it is even possible to notice puddles of water reaching the surface.
Investigate Your Fixtures And Appliances
When you perform the water meter check and you find that there is a leak inside your home, look at the cabinets under the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen sinks. See if they are dry or there are some puddles present there, or around toilets, showers, and tubs. Also, check the area under your clothes washer, dishwasher, and water heater. If puddles are found, stop the water supply to the fixture or appliance. You will need to contact a plumber.
Perform The Toilet Dye Test
When no puddles are present, you want to check the toilet since it is a very common spot that leaks. Sometimes, the flapper simply becomes brittle and water starts to trickle into the toilet bowl. To check if this water leak is present, simply buy some food coloring. Put some of it in the water tank of the toilet. Then, leave for a few minutes. When you come back, if you see the water inside the bowl is colored, it is time to fix the toilet.
When To Call A Plumber
With small leaks, like the one mentioned in the previous paragraphs with toilets, you might be able to easily fix the leak if you are the DIY type. However, with others, it is time to contact a plumber. This is especially the case if water leaks are located in harder-to-reach areas.