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Water damage can lead to expensive and icky problems when leaks go undetected. While quality plumbing materials are super-strong and last for decades, the occasional bad connection, clog, or extreme weather can cause damage to pipes that result in a drip or leak. Thankfully, early leak detection can be as simple as stopping, looking, and listening around your home. Here are six easy ways to find plumbing leaks in your home without fancy equipment or skills.
Utility bills fluctuate seasonally, but if you’re noticing a sustained increase in your water bill, you may consider checking around for plumbing leaks. Water bills typically remain relatively steady over time. Spikes can occur from time to time if you fill a swimming pool, water your landscape regularly during a dry summer, or other predictable circumstances. But aside from these seasonal peaks, your water bill should not increase over time.
Every building comes with its own quirks, including phantom noises that make our ears perk up. Thankfully, dripping sounds are a clear-cut indicator of a leak. Only liquid can create a dripping sound, and you shouldn’t hear a constant drip from anywhere in your plumbing. If your faucets drip, consider replacing them. If you hear mysterious dripping sounds and your fixtures seem okay, start checking under sinks and anywhere you can easily see. From there, contact a professional plumber to investigate further.
Brown, dark, or discolored spots in cabinets under a sink, around the base of a tub or toilet, or on the ceilings usually mean there’s a leak near the area and you’ll want to identify the source as soon as possible. Spots from water damage lead to cracks, mold growth, or other expensive and hazardous damage to your home.
Cracked ceilings or walls can be a sign of leaky plumbing. Yes, in older homes with plaster walls and ceilings, it’s common to see cracks. But old or new, if you see a crack in the wall or ceiling, feel around the area to see if it’s soft and wet, discolored, or otherwise indicating moisture. If it’s an area right below or near a bathroom, be sure to check closely for indications of a leak.
Musty smells indicate high moisture levels, moisture buildup, and sometimes mold. And a plumbing leak could be the source of increased moisture in the air. If your basement or crawl space is smelling extra-musty, start looking for water buildup around pipes and fixtures. Or if you notice musty smells anywhere throughout your home, start checking your pipes and fixtures for drips or collecting water. If there are no visible signs, pay closer attention to other signs such as dripping sounds, rising water bills, or changing meter readings.
Interestingly enough, your water meter can help you detect plumbing leaks in your home. An abrupt change in readings means you have a leak. To locate your water meter, look for a manhole-type cover near the street, then try these steps to find out if you have a plumbing leak:
Once you make a habit of paying close attention to your home, it’s easier to spot a problem. If you determine there’s a leak that needs repair, or if you’re simply not sure if it’s a leak or not, contact Andreas Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for leak detection services. Team Andreas is highly skilled at finding the source of any potential plumbing issue in eastern Pennsylvania homes.
Call Andreas today at (610) 377-5261 if you suspect a leak in your plumbing.