Leaky Pipe or Fixture?
Fix leaks immediately to avoid
- Wasting Water
- High Utility Bills
- Structural Damage
A slow leak of just three drops per minute wastes about 157 gallons of water per year. Even worse, excess water causes wood rot, mold growth, water stains, and corrodes the metal components of your sink and drain.
How to Find Plumbing Leaks?
A small leak in a faucet or sink might not seem like much at first but if left unchecked it could lead to tremendous damage over time. Here are some signs and symptoms that you may have hidden plumbing leaks. Detection can be difficult so it's important to know what to look for and what may be causing the problem.
Common Signs of a Leak
- Look for evidence of water damage. This may include water stains on the ceilings or walls, warped floors, or mold.
- Listen. If you hear a dripping noise or a strange sound coming from the walls or a plumbing fixture. that’s a good indication that you have a water leak.
- Feel. If you notice a sudden decrease in your water pressure, you may have a leak, sediment, leaky pipe, or faulty valve in your system.
- Observe. Is it more difficult to turn the water on or off, or does it require the same amount of force either way?
- Check your water bill. If your bill is higher than usual, you may have a plumbing leak or an issue with your water pipes.
Visual Inspections for Leak Detection
Examine the flooring around fixtures and appliances that use water, including toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers. Cracked or warped floors indicate moisture presence in this area which can lead to mold growth if left unchecked for long enough periods of time.
Inspect exposed pipes in basements and crawlspaces. Corrosion, mineral buildup, or moisture present around the pipes indicates a leak. If you see mold, mildew, or rotted wood around these pipes, your leak is probably in this area. Water tends to travel downward, and often the location of water stains is not the exact location of the leaking pipe.
For kitchens and bathrooms, shine a light through the cabinets and look for moisture at the joints. Also, look for corrosion on supply line fittings or valves. Water stains on the bottom of cupboards or below sinks, along with dampness/mold growths inside cabinets typically mean there is an issue with leaking pipes.
Want to know how much water that leaky faucet is really wasting? Use this drip calculator from the American Water Works Association.