Tips for Detecting Water Leaks at Home
Water leaks are one of the most common and insidious plumbing issues homeowners can face. The EPA estimates that an average household can lose as much as 10,000 gallons of water to leaks every year - that’s not just a lot of wasted water, it’s also a lot of wasted money. But leaks can also damage the home or its foundation, degrade indoor air quality by facilitating mold growth, and attract pests, so it behooves every homeowner to find and fix any leaks as quickly as possible.
The trouble is that leaks aren’t always easy to spot. Some reveal themselves through obvious signs like mold and mildew growth, evidence of water damage (discoloration, warped wood or drywall, bubbling or peeling wallpaper/paint, etc.), or even a puddle of water under a pipe. But other leaks, hidden behind walls or underground, only leave subtler hints of their existence. This article will outline three common signs of a hidden water leak that often gets overlooked.
Running Water Sounds
The first clue that the home may have a hidden water leak is the sound of running water when no plumbing fixtures are in use. This is typically described as a muffled hissing or rushing sound coming from somewhere in the house. If the home’s faucets are off and appliances like dishwashers are not running, no water should be actively flowing through the home’s supply lines. If there’s a leak, water will continue to flow through the pipes, sometimes quite noisily.
Running water sounds can not only alert homeowners to the presence of a leak but may also indicate the general vicinity of the leak itself. Unfortunately, very slow leaks aren’t likely to make much noise when running water, so this clue won’t help homeowners detect every kind of leak.
Weak Water Pressure
Low water pressure can also be caused by other issues, such as a partially closed valve, faulty pressure regulator, or mineral deposits inside the pipes. It’s best to have a professional plumber diagnose water pressure issues.
Unusually High Water Bills
However, homeowners can use that fact to their advantage by running a simple test. First, they can ensure that no faucets or fixtures are used anywhere in the home. Then they can go to their water meter and write down the number displayed on its face, which signifies the amount of water used in a given period. Then they can wait for about an hour (without water) and check the meter again. If the number has gone up, there’s almost certainly a leak.
Even a relatively minor water leak can dramatically increase utility costs and cause significant water damage, so if homeowners determine that they have a leak using any of the above clues, the next step is to call a professional plumber or leak detection service soon as possible. Professionals can pinpoint the exact location of the leak, determine the root cause, and repair it quickly - as well as offer advice for preventing future leaks.
About A&A Plumbing
The experts at A&A Plumbing have been proud to serve San Antonio and the surrounding areas since 2007. As a BBB-accredited company, their personalized approach, cost-effective solutions, and industry-leading expertise have earned them a 5-star HomeAdvisor rating and ServiceTitan’s prestigious Titan of the Year Finalist Award. Their financing options and membership plans make it easy for homeowners to get the plumbing services they need without breaking the bank - so call A&A for leak detection in San Antonio, TX, today!