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7 Ways to Find a Plumbing Leak

Plumbing Leak
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Your home’s plumbing system is a complex design of pipes, drains, and plumbing fixtures. Unfortunately, due to age or wear and tear, the system may start leaking, resulting in structural damage and a potential health hazard. Plumbing leaks are an emergency. You need to know the signs of a plumbing leak so that you can call the experts to repair them as soon as possible.

Signs That Indicate A Plumbing Leak

All water leaks, no matter how small, need to be traced and repaired as soon as possible. You don’t have to be an expert to suspect a plumbing leak, you just need to know the obvious signs.

Signs that indicate that you may have a plumbing leak are:

Brown Spots Or Water Stains On The Ceiling

Brown spots or water stains on the ceiling are definite signs of a leak. The leak could be due to the plumbing system or a fault in the roofing. If the room above the ceiling has any plumbing fixtures, expert plumbers need to investigate the cause of the leak and repair it as soon as possible.

Lifting Floorboards Or Tiles

Lifting floorboards or tiles are often due to a slow water leak. The leak could be caused by grout around a fixture that has deteriorated, or plumbing joints that have come adrift/deteriorated. If left unattended, the floorboards will rot and start smelling bad.

Puddles Of Water Or A Damp Smell

If You smell a damp smell or see puddles of water in a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry cupboard, chances are good that you have a plumbing leak. The leak could be from a leaking sink rim, water supply, or drain. A plumber will need to trace the source and repair the leak.

Bubbling Paint/Wallpaper

Paint and wallpaper only bubble when wet. The leak could be slow, or it could be from a burst pipe. Whatever the reason, the wallpaper/paint will need to be stripped to determine and repair the leak.

Unusual Sounds In Plumbing Pipes

If the pipes are creaking or making hissing or dripping sounds, you probably have a plumbing leak somewhere in the system. The sound of constant water flow when no fixture is turned on is also an indication of a plumbing leak.

An Increase In The Water Bill

Any sudden increase in your utility bill needs to be investigated. Unless the municipality has indicated a hike in the tariff, a sudden increase usually indicates a plumbing leak.

7 Ways To Trace A Plumbing Leak

Plumbers are trained to find the source of a water leak, but here are some simple ways that you can confirm that you have a leak before contacting a professional.

1. Check For Puddles On The Floor And In Cabinets

Check in the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen cabinets for any puddles of water or a musty smell. Also, take note of any persistent puddles of water around the tub, sinks, shower, and water heater. All these signs could indicate a plumbing leak.

2. Listen For The Sound Of Running Water

Switch off all the faucets and appliances that use water. If you can hear the sound of running water through walls or floors, you probably have a plumbing leak.

3. Perform A Toilet Dye Test

An easy way to check if the toilet flapper leaks are by putting some food coloring into the toilet tank overnight. If the water in the toilet bowl is colored the next day, you have a leaking toilet.

4. Perform A Water Meter Test

Switch off all appliances and turn off all the faucets. If the water meter continues to run, you have a water leak somewhere in the system. A plumber will determine where the leak is.

5. Monitor Your Water Bill

Most households have a predictable monthly water bill. A sudden spike in the water bill may indicate a plumbing leak.

6. Check For Unusually Lush Patches Of Grass

If you notice large puddles of water or unusually lush patches of grass, you may have a water leak in the underground plumbing line. You should contact a professional plumber to perform a leak test.

7. Stay Alert To Obvious Clues Of A Leak

There are a few obvious clues that you may have a water leak. Call a professional to investigate if you notice any of the following:

  • Discoloration on ceilings and walls.
  • Patches of mold and/or mildew.
  • Bubbling wall paint/wallpaper.
  • Floorboards or tiles that are lifting.
  • Sounds of running/dripping water that you cannot account for.

Suspect You Have A Plumbing Leak? Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric Are Here For You.

Plumbing leaks, big or small, have the potential to cause structural damage to a building. If you suspect you may have a leak, you need to attend to it without delay. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric has been trusted by the residents of South Florida since 1983. Call us at 1-800-475-1504 for a plumbing inspection and leak repair.


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