While we won’t say that plumbing leaks are impossible to accurately find without professional equipment, we will say that most plumbing leaks are impossible to accurately find without professional equipment, as well as extensive experience. The thing is, most of your plumbing system is hidden from view—behind drywall, under sinks, and perhaps running beneath the foundation of your home. So, the problems that afflict your plumbing system can be hard for the layperson to spot.
This is among one of the top reasons we recommend that our customers schedule annual plumbing maintenance—so we can check on your entire system using tools like video camera inspection. Leaks can happen between maintenance sessions, however, and when that happens you need to know about it quickly so you can call and have the leak repaired before it turns into a huge disaster.
So, if it’s hard to find a plumbing leak on your own, how can you begin to tell if you have one? We have 4 methods.
1. You Notice a Drop in Water Pressure
A decline in water pressure is never a good thing. There are a number of potential reasons this can happen, depending on how severe the loss is and how quickly it dropped.
Generally speaking, a loss in water pressure means there is a leak or a blockage somewhere within your plumbing system. A low loss of water pressure over time means that you may have a growing blockage in the main water line or in the pipes leading to sinks, showerheads, and other plumbing outlets. A sudden drop in water pressure can mean that you’ve had a pipe rupture, which is a relatively common problem if pipes aren’t treated to prevent freezing over the winter.
Regardless of how fast your water pressure dropped, the best thing you can do for your plumbing system if this happens is to give us a call.
2. You Have Unusually High Water Bills
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your water bills from month-to-month, just in case they start rising unexpectedly. Water bills that seem to be spiking beyond what is normal for the amount of water you use may mean that you have a leak somewhere in the system. If your monthly bills say that you are using substantially more water than you actually are, it’s a good idea to call in a pro.
3. Your Water Meter Is Running with No Plumbing Appliances On
One relatively easy method to see if your plumbing system has a leak is to shut off all the plumbing appliances in your home, and then check your water meter. If it continues to run, it means that water is still leaving your system from somewhere.
4. You See What Looks Like Water Stains in Your Home
Unfortunately, some plumbing problems only become noticeable once they’ve started doing damage. A pinhole leak can go on for quite a while before it starts soaking through drywall or carpeting. But if you do notice water stains on your walls, ceiling, or if you see water puddling on your flooring, it may very well be due to a hidden plumbing leak. It’s time to give us a call!