How to Easily Detect Plumbing Leakage In Your Home
Plumbing leaks occur anywhere in a home. They can occur within the ceilings, behind the walls, underground, and the visible pipes as well. Leaks also include those that may occur in toilets, bathtubs, drains, sinks, and showers.
Most homeowners are unaware that each drop that falls out of a pipe before reaching the right destination, such as a tap or appliance, will probably cause possible damage to your property in the form of decay, rot, and flooding.
If you put off repairing leaks, you’ll end up with a bigger mess to deal with. However, the main challenge is that many homeowners don’t know how to detect them, so they can stop plumbing leakage in their homes.
Here are some easy ways of detecting plumbing leakage in your home:
You should check the interior and exterior walls of your bathroom and the adjacent walls for any peeling wallpaper and paint.
They can peel due to continuous water passage through the caulking between tiles, especially on the wall tiling.
The water ends up reaching the adjacent walls, thereby loosening the bond that attaches wallpaper and paint onto the wall such that they end up peeling.
Check for falling or loose wall tiling on walls adjacent to the bathroom or shower. While loosening tiles may have many causes, water seepage is the main cause.
Regular leaks from shower curtains expose tiling to water such that the caulk and grout may loosen over time and the tiles will start loosening and falling.
Also, check whether there’s mould growth around certain spots in your bathroom, especially areas close to the shower pan or bathtub.
Mildew and moulds thrive best in dark areas with moisture. Thus, leaking bathroom pipes make the bathroom a great place for mildew and mould growth. If they’re growing constantly, then there might be some leaks somewhere.
If the ceiling below your bathroom looks stained, then you may be having some bathroom leaks. As water leaks from a bathroom pipe or the shower curtain, it may seep through the floor tiling and joists. The water will appear in the form of stains around the ceiling beneath.
In case you notice loose and curled flooring adjacent to the shower or bathtub, then check for water leakage, especially from the shower curtain or bathtub.
A leaking shower curtain and bathtub can lead to water seepage through the tiles, making them loosen over time.
Also, check whether there’s some spacing between the floor and bathtub as a result of gaps in caulking. When caulking is continuously exposed to water, it’ll erode such that gaps may form between the floor and bathtub.
Plumbing leaks often occur in the toilet. Most toilets are constructed on the upper floors and have connections to multiple pipes. This makes them prone to leaks. The leaks lead to more damages when left unattended. Here’re some ways you can detect water leaks.
One method for checking for leaks in your toilet is using food color. You’ll simply add some drops of a preferred food color into the toilet water tank.
Don’t flush the toilet. Give it some minutes and check whether the color of the water in the toilet bowl has changed. In case water within the bowl has changed color, then your toilet is leaking.
Check whether the toilet base is loose. The toilet base is the section at which the toilet is connected to the floor. It’s common for the base to leak. You can examine it by sitting on your toilet and feel whether it’s moving.
When flushing the toilet, water flows down at high pressure such that it may seep through the base, thereby forming water puddles around the base.
Another area to check is whether the ceiling area beneath the toilet is stained. Take measurements of the distance between the toilet and the stains to confirm the source of the stain.
Water puddles resulting from leaking pipes are often close to their exact source, making it easier to know the location of the leak.
Most plumbing leaks within the kitchen occur around the sink and the water supply pipes below the sink. Leaking kitchen faucets are also common.
Start checking the lower area of the sink countertop for changes in its particleboard. Plastic laminate countertops show changes quite easily. Countertops that are affected by leaking water feel spongy when touched and look dark and swollen.
Try pouring water slowly along the sink faucet base and the edge of the sink. The edge of the sink is the area where the countertop and sink meet.
Check whether water is dripping beneath. If water drips, then the base of the faucet and the sink or countertop are leaking due to a space between them.
Also, check whether the sink faucet base is loose. In case it’s exposed to constant water splashes, the joint where the faucet is connected to the countertop will loosen and allow some water to seep through over time.
Another area to examine is beneath the cabinet. Check for water puddles, rotting boards on the floor, and dampness.
These issues may be as a result of leaking supply pipes within the cabinet. You might not notice leaking pipes within the cabinet until the signs show beneath it.
Never ignore a loose bench-top plastic laminate. It can loosen due to failing caulk around the kitchen sink. If the plastic laminate on the bench-top is loose, then you probably have water leakage.
Another way of checking for leaks, specifically in multi-story houses, is checking whether the ceiling area beneath the kitchen has dry or wet stains.
If there’s prolonged dripping, water may seep through the joists and end up on your ceiling. The water will appear as wet marks than can grow into larger water puddles.
You can test the drain pipes or supply pipes in the kitchen for leaks by passing a paper or dry cloth over them, especially around the shutoff valves and slip joints. Areas that are leaking will leave water spots on the paper or cloth.
While most leaks occur within a home, some occur on plumbing lines located outdoors. The main supply line is highly prone to leaks. Here are the signs you need to check:
- Leaking hoses
- Increased grass growth around the pipe
- Corrosion on the pipes
Hidden and Underground Pipes
At times, leaks can occur within a wall or underground. Hidden leaks include leaking pipes in asphalt streets, concrete slabs, basements, and ceiling. It’s always challenging to locate hidden leaks, but there are some methods for doing it.
You can first test the water meter. To do so, first note the water meter reading and how it’s moving. Once done, turn off all faucets and taps, including all appliances that are connected to the water in your home.
Once done, check the water meter reading and whether it’s moving. In case it’s still moving and the reading has changed, then you might be having a hidden leak.
Otherwise, your water meter should be stagnant when all appliances and faucets are turned off.
Rotting wood, mildew, and moulds in one area is a key sign of a hidden or underground leaking pipe. Thus, if you notice mildew and moulds growing on the floor or wall, then there might be a leak hidden behind that specific area.
Another sign of hidden leaks is checking whether there’s heat coming from the surface below. The heat may be as a result of pressurized water as it hits the surface, thereby generating heat.
You can as well use modern technology to detect underground leaks. There are modern technology equipment that can detect water leaks through sounds being made by leaking water.
If you follow all these tips, you can find leaks and identify the main causes of pipe leaks in most Sydney homes. If you’re still losing a lot of water from the tank than what you’re using, then call an expert plumber to trace the leak.
A reputable plumber will easily trace any leaks and fix them. After all, saving water is a necessity since water is an extremely precious commodity. You may also be interested in reading the article: Does Insurance Cover Plumbing Leaks in Sydney?