While most leaks make themselves known immediately, there are some that are quite difficult to identify. When you spring a leak, you must catch it quickly and make immediate repairs. In this guide, you will learn how to determine exactly where a leak is coming from.
The homes that we live in are heavily dependent upon water. Safe utilization of water comes from that water remaining in the areas that it should -such as pipes, toilets, sinks, tubs, washers, and dishwashers. Should it find its way outside of these areas, it has the potential to quickly become a homeowner’s number one enemy as it has the capability of quickly destroying personal belongings, clothing, furniture, and even the structure itself.
Inspect the Hot Water Tank
Your hot water tank is tucked away from view somewhere in your home. It may be in a utility closet, behind a wall, in the laundry room, or some other obscure location. If you have a leak, but just can’t seem to locate it, take a few moments to inspect that hidden hot water tank. First, check the pressure relief valve. Listen for hissing/air sounds or drippage.
Look underneath the tank. Sometimes, pinholes may develop at the bottom due to internal corrosion. Look at the area where the pipe comes out from the tank for signs of moisture. If you know you have a leak, but just can’t seem to find it, the hot water tank is often considered to be the best place to start in your search.
Do a Dye Test on The Toilets in the House
Toilets are another prime location for the development of leaks. It is not at all unusual for the rubber stop plug inside of the tank to weaken and allow small amounts of water to trickle from the tank into the bowl. The best way to determine if this is the source of your leak is to place some food coloring in the tank of every single toilet throughout the home. After about 5-10 minutes, check each bowl. If you see any of the coloring in the toilet bowl, you have discovered the source of your leak.
Look for Discoloration on Your Ceiling and Walls
Walk through your home and examine all of the walls and the ceiling in each room. If you notice any unusual discoloration, water could be the culprit. The stains created by water are usually off-white, yellow, or even brown. In some instances, moisture could result in unsightly black spots and stains, too. If you discover stains on your ceiling, this usually indicates some type of roof damage. That is, unless you have any type of water pipes running above the ceiling.
If you notice the stains on the walls, it could be pipes that are located within the walls. In addition to discoloration, you may also discover wallpaper that is bulging out, or even paint that appears to be bubbling up. In these instances, the damage is quite extensive. You will need to consult with a plumber immediately to help in stopping the leak and will likely require a contractor to fix any permanent damage caused by the leak.
The Smell Test
When you have a leak in the home that is not obvious, it could go on for a while before you even recognize there is an issue. As a result, the moisture and humidity that often goes hand-in-hand with leaks will work together to create an environment where mold will start to grow. When this happens, a distinct, musty-type smell will develop. Walk through your home and do a smell test. If you smell any type of musty odor, it is likely that you are close to the culprit.
Inspect all Appliances and All Fixtures
Finally, go through your home and inspect all of the appliances in your home -even if they are not dependent on water, they may have some component that is capable of leaking fluid. In addition, you should check all of your plumbing fixtures and the areas around them -such as the faucets, the laundry water supply source, the tubs, the showers, around the dishwasher, and even the area around the washing machine. If you discover the location of the leak, make note of it and turn off the water supply to your home.
If you have a leak in your home -whether you can locate it or not -it is best to seek the assistance of a plumber. Not only will they be able to immediately pinpoint a leak, they have the tools and knowledge to stop it in its tracks before it results in damage to your home. We here at Reynolds Plumbing are standing by to help you uncover the source of your leak and correct the problem. If you are ready to put an end to your water problem, contact us now by calling: 765-966-0994