Plumbing systems can seem complicated if you don’t understand their layout or have a working knowledge of plumbing. This means that leaks in the system can be tricky to identify and fix, especially if most of the pipes run underground and through walls. Empty plumbing lines are usually tested for leaks using techniques similar to smoke test vacuum leak detection methods.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), average household leaks can lose a total of 10,000 gallons of water annually. So, a leak can be a serious problem that should be solved as soon as it’s detected. Now for the detecting part, here is how to tell whether you have a leak in your plumbing.
High Water Usage
Keep tabs on your water usage and look for any unusual spikes in the meter readings or water bills. You can also close every water outlet in the house for some time and check whether the meter continues to run. If your meter keeps running even when no outlets are closed, or your water usage has suddenly skyrocketed, you might have a leak.
Low Water Pressure
Does your shower or faucet stream feel weaker than usual? If yes, it might be a sign that a leak is causing a drop in water pressure. Isolate some of the areas in the house where the pressure is low and begin your search for the leakage there.
Damp Spots on Walls and Floors
One of the most common visible signs of a water system leakage is damp spots on the floor or walls that never seem to dry out. Such moist areas might be caused by slow, consistent leaks in the piping laid nearby. These spots may even begin to grow mold and mildew or have a musty smell.
Once you are convinced that you have a leak in your plumbing system, shut off the water supply to the house immediately and call a professional plumber to isolate the leaks and begin repairs. Doing this should prevent further damage and water loss.