Do you have a leaky pipe behind your walls or beneath your slab? There is only one way to really tell for sure. Have a professional leak detection service. Slow leaks are insidious and can cause damage to your home over the long term. They can result in warped structure supports, rotted beams and mold and mildew issues. All of which can compromise the health of your home and family.
Checking for Hidden Leaks
If you think you might have a hidden leak, there is a simple way to check. Turn off all of the faucets and toilets at the shut off valves and then check the water meter. Leave everything shut off for at least two hours and check the meter again. If the dial has changed, you have a leak somewhere in your system. If you find that you do have a hidden leak you’ll need a professional to help you locate and fix it.
Other places you might have leaks include near and around the tub, your toilets and your sinks. In fact, the majority of leaks happen in these places.
Splash leaks are the most common bathroom leak – even more common that toilet leaks – and they can signal some serious repairs. These leaks happen when water splashes out past shower doors or curtains. The leaky water seeps down into the subfloor and causes it to rot. Repairing this type of leak is as simple as caulking the bottom of the shower door or making sure that the shower curtain is inside the tub edge when taking a shower.
Toilet flapper leaks are the next most common type that you can have in your home. These leaks don’t cause damage to your home in any way but they can cost you a lot of money. A single leaky flange can cause your toilet to run and use an extra 600 gallons of water a month. To test for this type of leak put a few drops of food coloring in your reservoir tank and let the toilet sit for half an hour. If you notice that there is color in your toilet bowl, you have a leak. Replacing the flapper is relatively easy and can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Sink Rim Leaks
Sink rim leaks are another oddball, but all too familiar, leak that our plumbers deal with more often than you would think. The edges of the sink sometimes are not sealed fully and a wet sponge or sprayer overflow could cause water to pool behind the sink and leak down through the crack between the sink and the counter top. Check for this type of leak by dripping water from a sponge behind the sink and waiting to see if water runs down into the lower cabinets. If you have a leak like this a simple bead of caulk can fix it.
In any case, if you haven’t checked your home for hidden leaks in the last year, this is a good time to do so. You may be surprised in what you find.