Big or small, a leak in your home’s plumbing will waste water and cost you money. While significant leaks might be easy to spot, smaller leaks can stay hidden for weeks or even months, constantly dripping and driving up your utility bill. If you want to avoid losing money to plumbing leaks, keep reading to get leak detection tips from our plumbing contractor in Sacramento.
Mind Your Meter
Your water meter measures your water usage every month. And while that measurement is bound to fluctuate to a certain extent, sudden spikes in your water bill can be a sign that there’s a leak. Of course, if you can think of a good reason for the bill to be higher this month—like you just put in a new lawn or had a lot of visitors using the water in your home—then that spike probably isn’t anything to be concerned about. But if there isn’t an obvious reason for your water bill to be significantly higher, it’s time to start looking for a leak.
You can use your meter to do this by turning off all faucets and water-using appliances. Record the current reading on your meter, wait about 15 minutes, then recheck the meter. It should have the same reading. If the reading changes, you have at least one leak somewhere in the home. Now, you just need to find where.
Use All Your Senses
When trying to track down the exact location of a leak, it’s essential to use all of your senses. Look for visible signs of a water leak, including any apparent drips or watermarks on the walls or ceiling. Feel for unusual moisture anywhere in the home. Run your hands under sink cabinets and along walls to search for wet spots. You should also be aware of any parts of your home with unusually high humidity. A humid bathroom after you shower is normal, but if your bedroom closet feels humid, there might be a leak hidden in the walls somewhere.
Finally, try listening for a leak. Sometimes, you’ll be able to hear the sound of dripping or spraying from a damaged pipe, even if it’s hidden behind a wall. You can ask for help when doing this as well. Run water to upstairs faucets while someone listens downstairs for any unusual noises from the pipes that run up to those rooms.
If any of your senses indicate a hidden leak, you should contact a plumber to deal with the problem.
Detecting Pool Leaks
If you have a swimming pool that seems to need refilling constantly, then there may be a leak in the pool’s walls. Of course, some evaporation does occur for all pools, so here’s an easy way to test if your water loss is natural or caused by a leak:
- Place a large bucket on the top step of your pool, with a rock inside to help weigh it down.
- Fill the bucket with water until it is level with the pool water around it. Use a piece of tape to mark the water levels both inside and outside the bucket.
- Leave the bucket in the pool for 24 hours. Do not use your pool during this time.
- The next day, check both water levels. Because evaporation will impact both the water inside the bucket and the water outside the bucket equally, both water levels should have dropped by an equal amount. If the water outside the bucket has dropped more than the water inside, your pool has a leak.
Finding the exact leak location in a swimming pool can be tricky, so we encourage you to reach out to our leak detection experts for assistance.
Detecting Slab Leaks
A leak underneath your home’s concrete slab can be tough to detect. While your meter reading will undoubtedly be higher, you likely won’t be able to see any signs of the leak or its location on your own. In some cases, the soil around the leak may become saturated enough to create puddling in the grass above. However, this is not always the case, so your slab leak can continue seeping water into the soil for months or more without providing visible signs aside from a higher water meter reading.
If your water is putting out a higher reading and indicating that there is a leak somewhere in your home, but you are unable to detect its location, it could be beneath your concrete slab. These leaks must always be fixed by a professional who is experienced in handling slab leaks.
Bullseye Leak Detection provides expert leak detection and plumbing services in Sacramento. Contact us today for assistance in pinpointing and repairing leaks in your home’s plumbing, your swimming pool, or beneath your slab.