Top Tips for Locating a Water Leak in Your Home

Water Leak in home and bed

Having a clean home, free of hazards and leaks is ideal but life doesn’t always go as planned.

A water leak can turn out to be costly if it’s not caught and fixed on time. Aside from all those gallons of water wasted, a water leak can also cause serious damage to your home and your health. No one wants to deal with ruined floors, carpets and furniture. Your health can also be in danger if mold has developed.

If you think there might be a leak lurking in your home, check out our tips on how to hunt that leak down and get it plugged.

Confirm That You Do Have a Water Leak

The first thing to do is turn off all faucets, fixtures and appliances that use water. The best option is turning off all the water to your home through the main water line. Once everything’s turned off, get to your water meter and use a pencil or a piece of tape to mark the point where the needle is frozen in place. Check the water meter again after eight hours. If the needle has moved, then that’s your confirmation that there is, indeed, a water leak in your plumbing.

Now the search begins.

Check the Kitchen and Bathroom

Start searching in the areas of your home that use the most water, the kitchen and bathroom. Turn of your main water supply line and use a flashlight to check the cabinets under the sink for signs of moisture. Pay careful attention to pipe joints, a common culprit when it comes to leaks. You’ll also want to inspect the bottom of the cabinet for signs of dampness, mold, mildew or water stains.

If you notice one or more of these signs, tighten any fittings that you can and the entire area dry with a rag before turning your water supply back on. If tightening the fittings doesn’t solve your problem, it may be time to hire a professional plumber.

When it comes to the bathroom, the toilet is a frequent source of leaks. Luckily, diagnosing a toilet leak is easy. Just put a few drops of food coloring in the upper tank. Don’t flush and wait for around 25 minutes. If the color leaks into the toilet bowl, it’s a sign there’s a leak. You may need to replace your flapper.

Inspect the Floor Around Your Appliances

Dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters and washing machines may also be the source of your leak. Check the floor around these appliances for signs of moisture or water damage. There could be a leak at one of the hose connections or a tear in the hose.

Walls and Ceilings

If you’ve checked all the common causes listed above and still can’t pinpoint the leak, it could be coming from the pipes in your walls or ceiling. Carefully inspect the walls and ceilings for telltale signs of water damage, such as staining, peeling or mold. If you discover an area with water damage, it’s best to call a professional plumber to have the leak addressed.

If your home has a basement, check all the pipe connections and fittings to see if there’s water dripping anywhere.

Still No luck? Call a Plumber

When you’ve covered all the bases and still can’t find the source of your leak, it’s time to call in a professional for help. Most local plumbers will have the equipment and expertise needed to locate hard-to-find leaks and get the problem fixed.


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