Our homes rely on water— as long as it stays secure in a pipe, sink, tub, or appropriate appliance, like a dishwasher. But water can easily become a major problem if it goes where it shouldn’t, potentially causing extensive property damage. growing.
Plumbing leaks do happen, even in newer houses, and it’s likely that every house will suffer from at least one. What’s more, not all leaks are obvious; in fact, they can be awfully sneaky, making it important to catch and repair a leak as soon as possible.
Every homeowner should know how to identify a water leak, so read on for some advice on determining whether you’ve got one and how to narrow down its location.
- Checking your water usage: Checking your usage levels regularly so you can see any sudden increases that you can’t account for. You can monitor the meter manually or through installing a smart meter that sends reading through your phone daily.
- Water Pressure: Noticing a drop in water pressure when you’re filling the bath or taking a shower could be a sign of a leak. The sound of water running or even a slight hiss when no one is using any fixtures is a definite sign of a leak.
- Geyser: Monitor when your geyser comes on – if it’s on almost constantly, you could have a leak in your hot water pipe. These will generally be underground or under concrete and could be harder to find than other leaks.
Wondering how to detect a water leak underground?
Look out for pools of water or damp patches on your floor or walls.
Smells are a giveaway too – underground leaks tend to take longer to come through which leads to mould and mildew, both of which have a distinctive odour.
If you already think you may have a leak, there are some common culprits around the home that’s worth checking first:
- Geyser: If you have a continious cold water or any warm water leaking from your geyser overflows these need to be investigated by a proffessional plumber ASAP.
- Toilets: Because of how much we use them, it isn’t unusual for a toilet to start leaking. It can be costly if it’s continuously running. If you aren’t sure your toilet is leaking, a quick trick is to use a dry piece of toilet paper at the back of the toilet bowl if it continously gets wet you have a leaking toilet.
- Showerheads: Much like toilets, we use showers on a very regular basis. This means the parts start to wear down and you are likely to find leaks. We’ve already talked about how low pressure could be the sign of a leak so it makes sense this would be one of the first places to look if you think you have a problem.
- Appliances:Through everyday use, appliances can shift slightly from their original position, which can loosen valves and pipes and lead to leaks. Check them regularly to make sure all the attachments are secure.
If you’re still not 100% sure if the leak is inside or outside, the place to look is your water meter:
- First, turn off the stop tap on the in-let to your home usually located on the external wall of your house. So that all in-let water is shut off; you can check it’s off by running a tap untill no water comes out.
- Once you’d done this, check the meter to see if the dial is still moving,
- if it is, then the leak is on the supply line outside your home
- if it isn’t, then the leak will be inside, either on an internal pipe or through your appliances
When you’ve determined that the leak is outside, start looking for signs.
- Garden: If your meter is installed in your garden, this might include seeing if there are muddy patches around the pipe or if the grass seems to be growing better than in other parts of your lawn. Call the professionals before having to dig up your lawn to check the severity of the leak.
- Concrete: We’ve already mentioned looking out for damp patches on the floor and the smell of mould or mildew when you’re looking for underground leaks, and both of these apply for leaks under concrete. You also want to look out for cracks in the concrete itself, a result of water escaping, or uneven surfaces, meaning the concrete is being pushed up by the leaking water below.
If you do find a leak, contact DMS Plumbing to help you evaluate how serious it is. Our qualified technicians are also available 24/7 to attend to any emergency situations.
While waiting for our DMS plumbers to get to you, it’s a good idea to turn off the water at the stop tap, which will mean no water is going into your house and the leak shouldn’t get any worse. You can also turn off the electrics to any part of the house affected by the leak i.e your geyser.