How to Detect Water Leaks

Do you hear that? Yes, that noise. That “thud, thud, thud,” in your sink. What could that be, you might ask? Ah, yes: a water leak.

If you aren’t concerned about water leaks, you probably should be.

Some leaks aren’t visible to the eye (such as from your sink) and are hidden, only increasing your water bills every month. Additionally, non-visible leaks can also lead to black mold damage inside your walls.

Here at Precision Plumbing, we want you to be able to recognize potential water leaks before they lead to a major problem in your home.

1. Compare Your Last Few Water Bills

Have your water bills unexpectedly increased? If they have, it could be due to one or more possible leaks in your home. In fact, you can check your water bills anytime by viewing them online!

When you look at your bill, you’ll want to look specifically at two details: the amount of water used and the grand total you owe. If your bills are slowly (or even rapidly) increasing and you haven’t changed your water usage habits, you may need to call in a professional plumber. A professional can check your home for leaks and implement any necessary leak repairs.

2. Test Your Toilet With Food Coloring

It’s estimated that a single leaking toilet can waste as much as 6,000 gallons a month. The fastest way to detect a toilet leak, and stop excess water usage, is to use the food coloring trick!

To effectively use this method, remove the lid of your toilet tank and place a few drops of food coloring into the water. Next, leave the toilet alone for at least 10 minutes. If you happen to see the color makes its way into the bowl, then you have a toilet tank leak — which could be the result of a bad seal on the flapper. Thankfully, a professional plumber can help replace the flappers on your toilets in a quick and efficient manner.

3. Check Your Water Meter

If your water bill has risen significantly, but you still aren't sure if it’s due to increased water usage or several small leaks in your home, check your water meter.

Before checking, you’ll want to make sure that all of your home’s water fixtures are off. This includes, but is not limited to: your faucets, showers, bathtubs, washing machine, and dishwasher. Once everything is turned off and there is no water being used in your home, go outside and look at your water meter.

If you have a digital water meter, record the numbers and go about your business for the next hour or so. But remember: do not turn on any taps or use any water during this timeframe. After an hour has passed, go back to your meter and record the current number. If it has changed significantly, you may have a water leak.

If you have a water meter that contains hands like a clock, you may have to watch your water meter for several minutes. If the hands move in the slightest direction, then you most likely have a water leak.

4. Check for Puddles in Your Yard

In some instances, a water leak may not be inside your home. Instead, it could be due to a leaking water main outside.

To check for leaks in your water main, step outside your home and walk along the length of the underground pipe. If you know where your water meter is located, then you’ll know that this line should run straight from the road (to your water meter) and into your house. If you notice any large puddles or extra soggy soil, and it hasn’t rained in a few days, then your water main may be leaking.

Contact Precision Plumbing for Leak Detection

If any of these tests or checks alerted you to a potential hidden water leak anywhere on your property (indoors or outside), our professional plumbers at Precision Plumbing in Carol Stream can locate those leaks and implement the correct repairs. In most instances, we offer same day service!

To have leaks in your home diagnosed and repaired, call us today at (630) 280-3221.

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