If you’ve ever suspected a water leak in your home, you’ll know that trying to pinpoint the source of the leak is typically either extremely easy or almost impossible. Leaks can occur anytime, anywhere – under the ground, behind a wall, in your ceiling, in the interior pipes threading through your house.
Unfortunately, what most people don’t realise is that every drop of leaking water may be causing silent and significant damage to your property: flooding, rot and decay.
Worried you may have a leak in your house but not sure how to go about finding it? Here are some simple water leak detection methods you can use to identify leaks in your home.
How To Find A Plumbing Leak
To find out whether you have a water leak, first carry out a meter test to check out your house’s current water usage. Pay attention to how the dial moves on the meter and jot down the numbers. Next, turn off every faucet and disconnect all appliances connected to water in your property. Check the meter a second time to see if the dial moves. Ideally, the meter should not move at all once every water appliance has been switched off. If the dial moves, you likely have a leak somewhere in your house.
Here are some of the common places inside the home that are vulnerable to water leaks.
Water leaks in the kitchen usually occur in one of three places:
- Around the sink
- The supply pipes at the base of the sink
If you have a two-storey house and your kitchen is on the second floor, check the ceiling below your kitchen for dark stains that may indicate a water leak generally.
To test whether your faucet is leaking, you can pour water slowly along the base of the faucet and the edges of the sink where the sink and countertop meet, and check whether the water drips at the bottom. This is a sign that water may be seeping through a tiny gap between the faucet base and the countertop.
Check the faucet base to see whether it is loose. Over time, the joint at which the faucet meets the countertop can become loose, allowing small amounts of water to seep through to the area below.
A water leak from your sink can often cause damage to your kitchen benchtop. If you have a laminate benchtop that becomes loose, this may be caused by the caulk around the sink weakening due to water damage.
Check whether the area under your kitchen cabinet has evidence of dampness, water puddles or rotting floorboards. These can be symptoms that you have a leak from the supply pipes inside the cabinet.
To investigate your supply and drain pipes more thoroughly, turn on the tap in your sink and pass a dry cloth over the edge of each pipe below, especially around the slip joint and shutoff valve. If your cloth is left with a small wet mark, you have a leak.
Water leaks in the bathroom typically happen in the following places:
- Bathroom flooring
- Caulking in tiles and between surfaces
To detect whether your toilet system as a leak, add a few drops of food colouring to the water tank above the toilet. Without flushing, wait and observe closely for any change in the toilet water. If the food colouring escapes into the toilet tank, this is a sign you have a water leak between the tank and the toilet.
Test whether the base of the toilet seat is loose. Often, the pressured water from the toilet will seep through the base, resulting in a constant leak or puddle.
Curled and loose flooring next to your bathtub or shower may be a sign of a potential leak.
If you have a leak in your bathroom tiles, dark patches or stains may appear on the ceiling directly below your bathroom. This occurs when water leaks through the bathroom floor tiles and joists, and soaks into the ceiling board.
Caulking in tiles and between surfaces
Look for peeling paint and wallpaper on the inside and outside walls of your bathroom. This often occurs as a result of water through the caulk between bathroom tiles, which may move into the connected wall and loosen the bonds attaching paint and wallpaper to the wall, creating a peeling effect.
Regular leaking from the shower can expose bathroom tiles to water, which can seep through the grout and caulk, and loosen the tiles over time.
Check for space between your bathtub and the floor due to gaps in the caulk. Constant exposure to leaking water can erode the caulk between the tub and the floor.
Why Do I Need To Fix This Leak ASAP?
Water leaks, both hidden and visible, can significantly damage your property if not detected and resolved quickly. We recommend scheduling regular leak detection services to ensure your home’s pipes stay watertight.
How To Fix Plumbing Leaks
To accurately detect and fix a water leak in your home (without turning your home upside down), you need the expertise of a highly skilled plumbing specialist. Here at Yarrow Plumbing, we can solve your water leak problem quickly and efficiently. We take the time to explain your leak problem and options so you can make an informed decision about the best actions to take to protect your home from water damage.
Do you need help with fixing a leak in your home? Contact Yarrow Plumbing today on (07) 3277 5742.