How to Spot a Hidden Plumbing Leak Before it Damages Your Home

Jul 22, 2019

It’s easy to spot a leaky faucet or a backed up drain, however, when it comes to a leaky pipe in a less obvious location, such as your wall, finding the culprit requires a little detective work. While hidden leaks often stay hidden until the damage done to your home is severe, there are signs you can look for that will help you catch a leak before a complete disaster occurs.

Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill

Unless your family’s water usage has drastically changed, you shouldn’t see a large fluctuation in your water bill; especially a major increase. However, if your most recent bill has suddenly skyrocketed without reason, a leak somewhere in your home is the likely cause. Even if you inspect your house and don’t find any obvious indications of a leaky pipe, it’s highly recommended you contact a professional plumber to further examine your home’s plumbing.

Trust Your Nose

Sometimes, before you can see a leak you can actually smell a leak. If you’ve noticed a musty or damp smell invading your home and no amount of cleaning has vanquished the unpleasant odor, it’s time to assume a leaky pipe is hiding somewhere in your house.

A Discolored Wall or Ceiling

Probably one of the most noticeable signs of a leak is discoloration of your wall or ceiling. While stained walls are a clear indication, chipped paint is another clue you have a hidden leak. The moisture from the leak can cause the paint on your ceiling or walls to separate and crack. Crumbling or bubbling drywall also points to a serious moisture problem, which usually stems from a leaky pipe.

Consult Your Water Meter

If you suspect a leak is wreaking havoc somewhere in your home, but you’re still not a hundred percent sure, your water meter may have the answer you’re looking for. To run a quick and easy test make sure no one in your home is using the water; that includes the dishwasher, the washing machine, sinks and showers. Once water use has ceased for at least 30 minutes, check the meter. If there is any activity, your home definitely has a leak. However, if there’s no movement after 30 minutes, wait at least two more hours with the water off, and then check again. At this point, if there’s a change in the water meter, you are most likely dealing with a slow leak. While a slow leak may seem like an issue you can put off, it isn’t, and should be dealt with immediately by contacting a professional plumber.

If you believe your home has a hidden leak, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you find and repair the damaged pipe.