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What You Need to Know About Finding Hidden Plumbing Leaks

magnifying-glassHere’s the tricky part about hidden leaks: they’re hidden. A leak gushing from under your kitchen sink because the supply line broke is easy to detect. Leaks occurring in pipes behind walls and under the floor are much more difficult to detect until they start causing major damage. You don’t want leaks to get to that point, so it’s helpful to know how you can spot the signs of hidden leaks so you can have professional plumbers act on them.

Our plumbers use the best leak detection equipment available to find hidden leaks in a house so we can repair them. You don’t have the same equipment, but you can pick up on several indicators of pipe leaks so you can call us for plumbing repair in Winnetka, IL. Below are the most common ways to detect hidden leaks.

High water usage on utility bills

Even small leaks can accumulate to a significant waste of water, and you’ll see this reflected on your monthly utility bills. Look specifically at the gallons used per month, which is a better indicator than simply looking at cost. If the usage has increased and there’s no good reason for it, such as having guests over, you may have hidden leaks.

Odd behavior from the water meter

The majority of pipe leaks occur in hot water lines. If water is escaping from the hot water lines, it will cause the water heater to turn on and off at strange times because its hot water is going to waste. You’ll also notice a rise in the cost to run the water heater.

Discolored marks on the walls and ceiling

A small amount of standing water leaking from a pipe can start to rapidly eat through drywall. You’ll first see this as light brown discoloration marks on the walls and ceiling. If you see this type of discoloration on the ceiling beneath a bathroom, you almost certainly have a large leak that needs attention immediately.

Mold and mildew growth

Hidden leaks will create areas of moisture in your house that are ideal for mold and mildew to start growing. If you notice patches of mold or mildew in corners or along the baseboards, it often means water is accumulating behind the building material.

Sound of running water

If you can hear water running in your home when no tap is on and you can’t locate the source, it can indicate you’ve got leaking inside the walls. 

Drop in water pressure

As leaks get worse, they can cause water pressure to drop at taps. There are various potential causes of water pressure declines, and you’ll want a plumber to look into the problem.

The water meter test

When you suspect hidden leaks, this is the best way to know for certain that there’s a problem. Go to the water meter for your home and write down its current reading. Then don’t use any water in the house for an hour and shut off all water-using appliances. If the meter reading has increased after this time, you’ve got leaks somewhere in your plumbing

Think you’ve got hidden leaks? Just call us! Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. serves the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland.

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