How to Detect Water Leaks in Your Plumbing

How to Detect Water Leaks in Your Plumbing


Did your water bills suddenly shoot sky-high? Maybe it has nothing to do with climbing utility prices and everything to do with wasted water. Even a small leak can easily waste more than 3000 gallons of water per year.

Just imagine what that’s doing to your water bill!

So, how do you know you have a leak? Read on to learn how to detect water leaks in your plumbing.

Test From the Meter

An easy way to test if a leak exists is to watch the water meter. Don’t know where your water meter is? Look around for an underground box in the front of your house. Apartments often have them in the laundry room or in a cupboard in the kitchen. Just ask your landlord if you can’t find it.

A series of numbers will appear on the face of the meter if yours is the mechanical dial type. Ensure that no water is running anywhere in the home, then make a note of the numbers. Wait 10-15 minutes (using no water during that time) and take a second reading. If the numbers have changed, it’s likely you have a leak.

Note that it’s best to run this test a few times and if you suspect a small leak you may want to wait for an hour or so between readings.

Clock meters won’t have numbers but if no water is running, the meter wheel should stop spinning. If the wheel is still spinning when you turn everything off, you may have a leak.

Where’s the Leak?

The meter test only alerts you to the fact that you may have a leak. It doesn’t tell you where the leak is, though. Here’s what you need to look for.

Signs of an Outdoor Water Leak

If the leak is outside, the ground in your yard will tell you. If you know where the water line runs, you can limit your search to this area. If you don’t, you’ll have to scout around a bit.

Watch for unexplained puddles, soft or wet soil, and extra green patches of grass. Driveway cracks and water in your meter box can also indicate a problem.

Signs of an Indoor Water Leak

Indoor water leaks are more stealthy. You’ll want to watch for dripping faucets, water stains on the walls, floors, or ceilings, or water gathering under appliances that use water.

When to Call the Plumber

Call a plumber to fix your plumbing leaks if you can’t find them or the repair is tricky. Many homeowners have cost themselves more time and money by trying to DIY their plumbing woes.

Plumbers have more sophisticated methods of leak detection as well as a whole bag of tricks for fixing even difficult-to-reach leaks.

Kiss Your Plumbing Woes Goodbye!

With a professional plumber on the job, you will enjoy leak-free plumbing just like that. Now you can welcome a normal water bill once again!