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Silent Signs Your House has Plumbing Problems

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Many plumbing problems are virtually silent until the damage they do becomes evident. If you can’t hear them or see them, how is it possible to know that water leaks and other plumbing problems are there? Rest assured, the evidence exists; you need to know where to look. The best plumbers in Sacramento will tell you to watch for the following.

telltale signs of a silent plumbing problem

High water usage

Water usage stays reasonably consistent over time. Monitor your family’s monthly water usage rates; if you can’t explain spikes, increases may be due to plumbing problems.

A running meter

A quick water meter test is a good way to ferret out a water leak. Turn off all the water in your home—toilets, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, everything—and then take a look at your water meter. Your water meter measures water flowing through your home; when it moves, that means water is flowing. If all the water is off and you still see the meter moving, that’s a good sign you’ve got a leak somewhere and that it’s time to call for plumbing repair in Sacramento.

Musty smells

Sewer odors and other musty smells may be signs of a hidden plumbing problem. Your nose knows; if you smell something unusual and otherwise unexplainable near sinks and other plumbing fixtures, it’s time to call a plumber.

Rusty pipes

Dry pipes won’t rust or otherwise discolor. Only wet ones will. Whenever you get the chance, take a quick look at your pipes, especially at the joints. If you see discoloration or buildup of any kind, take action. Water in your pipes is under pressure; joints weakened by slow leaks have the potential to become big problems fast.

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Low water pressure

Low water pressure in one location is likely a symptom of an isolated issue with that faucet. Still, low pressure throughout your home could be a sign of more significant problems such as a leak in your water main, the water heater, the water supply line to your home. If your water pressure drops suddenly in the winter, you might have a frozen pipe. Sometimes frozen pipes thaw without help or additional problems, but often they burst and cause flooding. If you see low water pressure combined with any other symptoms on this list, call your plumber right away.

Soggy or green spots in the yard

Plumbing leaks aren’t just an indoor problem; water pipes run outside your home as well and they carry large quantities of water. Soggy spots and standing water not caused by watering or rain or patches of greener lawn areas than other areas may be signs of an underground leak in water pipes or sewer lines.

Call an Expert

Water leaks can be devastating. Even small, slow leaks have the potential to cause major financial and structural problems. When left unaddressed, water will rot wood, ruin drywall, weaken structures, crack foundations, cause yards to sink and create conditions perfect for the growth of mold and mildew. If you suspect a leak, don’t wait; call Bullseye Leak Detection. Bullseye provides professional plumbing and leak detection in Sacramento. Our teams have the experience and tools needed to find the most difficult to detect leaks. We’ll locate the leak and get the repairs done quickly and efficiently.

Early detection is key to preventing significant damage from plumbing leaks. If you suspect a leak, call Bullseye. We’re the best plumbing company in Sacramento. Call today to protect your home from the lasting damage of a water leak.

5 Reasons to Repair Plumbing Leaks Immediately

The plumbing of your home does a lot of work on a daily basis. It supplies you with water anywhere you need it, helps keep you, your clothes, and your dishes clean, and carries away your waste. With those pipes working so hard every day, it’s little wonder that leaks sometimes develop. When you notice a small drip or a bit of moisture somewhere in your home, you might think of it as a minor issue that can be pushed off for later. But here are a few reasons you should seek immediate plumbing repair in Sacramento instead of letting it slide.

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Damage to Fixtures

You might not think that a leak can damage your plumbing fixtures. After all, they’re built to handle water, so how can water damage them? In reality, faucets and showerheads can be damaged by the root cause of the leak. For example, a deteriorated gasket can get stuck in the plumbing lines, damaging the fixture enough that you will need to replace it. This can cost you hundreds of dollars while replacing the gasket itself would have only cost you a few bucks.

Damage to Walls

The water inside your walls is not something you want to deal with. If you hear a small drip somewhere inside the walls or notice moisture seeping through your drywall, you absolutely should not ignore it. Not only can that moisture damage the drywall, but it can lead to mold growth, which is an entire additional problem you’ll have to fix. The faster you fix a leak, the less damage you’ll have to deal with.

Damage to Flooring

Leaks can also lead to flooring damage in your home. Perhaps you noticed a small amount of moisture pooling around the base of the toilet. It seems minor enough that you wipe it up every now and then. But that little bit of moisture could be the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Odds are, a lot more water is also seeping into the tiles around the toilet, causing damage to the subflooring and (if the bathroom is on an upper floor) the ceiling beneath it. Don’t ignore it and allow it to continue damaging your floors.

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Wasted Water

In addition to all the damage that water can cause in your home, the water itself comes at a cost. Every bit of water that leaks from that pipe or faucet is something you pay for. While a steady drip from one faucet might not seem like a significant drain on your wallet, it can add up over time, and ignoring that drip for months at a time can cost just as much as repairing it would have.

Problems Get Worse

Finally, it’s essential to keep in mind that a problem never gets better by ignoring it—it can only worsen. This is true with plumbing as much as anything else. Ignoring that minor leak isn’t going to stop it or make it any smaller. Instead, it’s probably just going to get worse. And as that leak gets worse, you’ll face higher water bills as well as higher risks of damage to your property. When you finally do get the problem fixed, you might be paying to replace a pipe instead of patching it simply because you didn’t fix the issue earlier.

In some cases, the leak can also be a minor symptom of a much larger problem. For example, a leaky pipe could be caused by corrosion or sediment buildup in your plumbing. Getting the leak fixed early helps you find and fix these issues before they cause even more significant, more expensive problems down the road.

What Is Non-Invasive Water & Plumbing Leak Detection

Detecting a leak in an exposed pipe doesn’t take much effort; the evidence is right before your eyes. But when the leak is hidden beneath a slab or buried on another part of your property, how can you even be certain you have a leak at all—much less find exactly where it’s located? The good news is, you don’t have to dig up your entire yard and destroy your concrete slab. We use non-invasive leak detection techniques that allow us to pinpoint the exact location of a leak without damaging your property. Keep reading to learn more about our slab leak detection in Sacramento and the techniques we use.

Acoustic Sensors

The steady drip, drip, dripping of a leaky faucet is very apparent to your ears (especially when you’re trying to sleep), isn’t it? You can find that leak by sound alone if you need to. We can do something similar with underground leaks—though we need special tools to pick up on the sound of a leak. We utilize high-tech acoustic sensors that pick up on the frequencies of these leaks. Obviously, it’s not always going to be an actual dripping sound; but we can find the sounds of bubbling, gurgling, and other acoustic signals that allow us to pinpoint your leak’s location by sound alone.


The water in your pipes is cold; typically, it’s much colder than the soil that surrounds it. This means that when there is a leak, the soil that’s absorbing the escaped water will be colder than the rest of the soil. We can use state-of-the-art thermal imaging equipment to find these cold spots in the ground around your home. It works much like thermal imaging cameras you’ve seen in movies and television shows. By detecting these minor temperature differences in the soil, we can find exactly where the water is seeping out and soaking (and chilling) the surrounding soil. We can even use this technique to find leaks inside walls before those ugly water spots show up.

Endoscopic Video

The final technique we use to pinpoint a hidden leak is an endoscopic video. We’ll feed a tiny camera on the end of a long cable into an accessible pipe, then guide it along your pipes while we watch the camera feed on a nearby monitor. This camera can be used to find blockages in your pipes, as well as cracks and leaks. This way, we can quite literally get the problem within our sights before we try to address it.

Minimizing Demolition

Why are non-invasive techniques important? Simply put, they allow us to find the exact source of the leak without opening up your walls or digging up your walls. By minimizing demolition, we get the repairs done faster, save you money, and reduce any disruption to your home and your life.

Major Plumbing Problems That Are Easy to Prevent

Water damage is perhaps the most insidious kind of damage that can happen to a home. Water can go anywhere, is not always easy to see, and can cause irreparable damage. Wet floors rot, wet drywall molds, and wet carpets may never smell the same again. Since every house has water, plumbing and water line leaks in Sacramento are an inevitable part of homeownership. Never has the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” been truer than with plumbing problems. Taking the following small steps to prevent potential plumbing disasters will save you untold amounts of time, money, and trouble.

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Don’t Send That Banana Peel Down the Drain

Banana peels are just one of many things that should never, ever go down your drain. To keep your home’s drain flowing freely, avoid sending the following down the drain:

  • Animal products such as cooking grease or egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pasta
  • Cooking flour
  • Produce stickers

These things, and others like them, expand and build up in your pipes causing clogs and backups. Just throw this stuff in the trash or compost instead and save yourself the hassle and expense of calling a plumber.

If It Isn’t Natural and It Isn’t Toilet Paper, Don’t Flush It

The occasional toilet clog is not unusual, but you can prevent big problems by having a hard and fast rule about what can and cannot go in the toilet. Human waste and toilet paper are the only things that should ever be flushed down the toilet. Nothing else, and especially not any of the following:

  • Feminine hygiene products, even the flushable ones
  • Flushable wipes (they are not flushable)
  • Condoms
  • Cotton balls
  • Q Tips
  • Dental floss

When in doubt, toss it out.

If It’s Freezing Outside, Don’t Let Your Pipes Get Cold

Water pipes can freeze when temperatures drop below freezing and stay there. At best, frozen pipes will keep you from having water in your home until they thaw; at worst, they will burst and cause a flood. Exposed pipes in garages and non-insulated exterior walls are the most vulnerable, but interior under cabinet pipes are known to freeze. Before freezing temps set in, winterize your exposed pipes with insulation. You can also open cabinet doors on particularly cold nights, to make certain pipes get the full benefit of the heat running in your home.

Keep a Plumber’s Number Handy

Even with all your careful prevention, plumbing problems happen. Bullseye Leak Detection is the only number you need providing precision plumbing services and water line repairs in Sacramento, CA. Our family-owned plumbing business provides a range of expert plumbing solutions for customers throughout the Sacramento area for the past ten years. Our crews use specialized techniques and tools to inspect your plumbing system, locate the source of the problem, and make high-quality lasting repairs.

Ways Your Plumbing Can Spring a Leak

When you look at a new, healthy plumbing pipe, you might think it looks impervious to leaks. These pipes are often crafted of sturdy metals like copper and galvanized steel. How could anything possibly puncture that kind of metal? But like any other material, pipes are prone to wear and tear and can become worn down over time. Keep reading to learn the common ways in which your plumbing can leak and how to find plumbing leak repair in Sacramento, CA.

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Outdated Pipe Materials

While all materials will eventually wear down to an extent, certain types of materials are more prone to corrosion than others. You may have galvanized steel or copper pipes if you have an older home. These materials will develop rust and weak points on the pipe, which can eventually crack and burst. They may also release harmful deposits into the water as they begin to corrode. You’re much more likely to experience plumbing leaks if you have these older pipe materials.

Hard Water Buildup

In many cities, the mineral content of the water is high enough to leave hard water buildup behind. You may notice this white buildup on your bathroom faucets and showerheads, and it may also leave unsightly spots on your dishes. But what you might not know is that hard water buildup is more than an unsightly nuisance; it can actually attack the inside of your pipes and drains, leading to more rapid corrosion and more frequent leaks. If you have hard water in your neighborhood, it’s good to invest in a water softener. This will make your household chores a bit easier, but it will also help preserve your pipes, so you experience fewer leaks.

Loose Joints

Even if your pipes themselves are in excellent shape, you may develop leaks at the pipe joints—those places where two pipes meet and are connected with a coupling or other type of pipe fitting. Water rushes through your pipes (and especially around those bends where the pipes connect) and creates subtle vibrations that you may not even be aware of. However, those vibrations can gradually loosen the couplings in the joint until it is no longer watertight. The good news is, a leak at a joint usually just requires you to tighten the coupling, so this will most likely be a repair you conduct yourself—assuming, of course, that the leak is somewhere easily accessible and not hidden inside your walls somewhere.

Drain Clogs

Of course, supply lines only make up about half of your plumbing system. The other half consists of your drain lines, which whisk away the excess water and any accompanying waste. Hopefully, you practice good habits when it comes to the things you put down your drains, but even if you do, clogs can still occur. Most often, you can clear the clog, and it won’t cause a leak in your system.

However, if the clog is deep in your drain line, you may not even realize that there’s a problem until it’s already started damaging your pipe. Serious clogs can cause pressure to build up behind them, which can lead to pipes cracking and leaking. This can even happen in your sewer main line, which can be a serious hassle to get repaired. It’s a good idea to look for signs of deep drain clogs so you can have them cleared before they cause major damage.

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Appliance Failure

Many appliances in your home use water: the dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, and water heater, to name a few of the most common ones. If something goes awry with these appliances or with any of their connections, you can be left with a major mess on your hands. For example, a water heater tank can rust as it ages, and these weak points can eventually crack and leak. Similarly, connection points can begin to rust or exhibit signs of calcium buildup, both of which indicate you may have a leak coming your way soon.

Just as joints in your pipes can become loose, connection points to your appliances can loosen, or the hoses that connect them to your pipes can corrode and crack. They’ll leak just as readily as a corroded pipe when this occurs. Luckily, these hoses and connection points are often much easier to reach and replace than most of the pipes in your home; still, if you’re not confident in your plumbing abilities, you should have a plumber replace them for you, as failing to reconnect the hoses properly can quickly turn that little leak into a localized flood in your home.

Why Spring Can Lead to Plumbing Issues

Spring brings so much new life with it. Flowers are blooming, baby animals are emerging into the world, plants are growing and thriving—and plumbing issues are popping up like tulips. We know that the last item probably isn’t something you often associate with springtime, but the fact is that springtime can lead to significant plumbing issues for many homeowners. So, what is it about the spring season that leads to plumbing services for Sacramento homeowners? Here are just a few of the potential causes.

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Shifting Soil

April showers bring May flowers—and excessive soil saturation. Despite the fact that it doesn’t rhyme, it’s still true. Those lovely spring showers can often oversaturate the soil around your home. When this happens, the soil can shift and sink, causing your foundation slab to settle. A few key pipes run beneath your slab, including your water main line, so when the foundation settles even just a small amount, it can cause extreme strain on the pipes below. That can result in cracks, leaks, and even burst water lines.

Root Infiltration

Spring is a time of growth, and while most of the plants blooming and growing throughout your yard aren’t a problem for your plumbing, trees can be sneaky little pipe destroyers. As your trees wake up from their dormant period, they’ll be on the hunt for sources of water and nutrients. Their roots spread out beneath the ground, and when they find the moisture or nutrition they’re searching for, the root growth in that area increases.

Tree roots are especially attracted to sewer mains, as the sewage and water inside these pipes are an excellent blend of nutrients for growing plants. While that’s great for the tree, it’s not great for your plumbing if that source of water and nutrients is an underground pipe. Though the roots start as very fine, hair-like strands, allowing them to sneak in through tiny gaps in pipe joints easily, they grow quickly. They’ll grow thicker and stronger as more and more roots sneak inside the pipe. Eventually, the pressure of the roots in and around the pipe can cause it to crack or burst, or in some cases, the tangle of roots will create a major clog. Either way, you’re left with a big plumbing bill to cover your tree’s hearty appetite.

Changing Temperature

Springtime can be a bit finicky when it comes to the temperature. Oftentimes, we’ll experience big swings between very warm days and very cold nights as the last of the winter weather is pushed out and we move towards summer. These big swings are annoying for you and potentially harmful to your plumbing. Even though you likely won’t have to worry about it getting cold enough to freeze your pipes, those temperature changes can cause the pipes (and the soil around them, if they’re underground) to expand and contract with the heat and the cold.

Despite the fact that you wouldn’t notice this movement yourself, repetitive expanding and contracting is not good for your pipes. It can create weak spots in the pipes’ walls, which will make them more likely to crack and leak.

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Excessive Mud

Remember the excessive soil saturation we mentioned earlier? Well, it can impact your plumbing in another way besides causing the soil to shift. If your family isn’t afraid to get outside and get a little dirty, you might find yourself washing a fair amount of mud off of boots, bodies, toys, and pets. While a little mud won’t have much impact, a lot of mud going down your drains can end up clogging your pipes.

This type of clog is most common in outdoor drains, so if you have this type of drain on your property, be mindful of how much mud you’re washing down it. For example, if you’re washing down a very muddy truck, you might try to spray some of the mud into the storm drain on the street instead of down your own drain. You should also avoid washing anything that’s extremely muddy in your sinks or bathtubs. These drains weren’t made to handle excessive amounts of mud. Instead, hose down muddy kids, clothes, and animals outside before giving them a proper washing inside. You’ll keep the mud out of your drains and off your floors.

How to Keep Your Bathroom Plumbing in Good Shape

While all plumbing will wear down over time and experience the occasional problem, the truth is most plumbing repairs are preventable. With proper maintenance, your plumbing can continue to operate effectively for years without giving you any issues. If you want to avoid unnecessary repairs, keep reading to get tips on how to properly maintain your bathroom’s plumbing and prevent a potential water line leak in Sacramento.

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Flush with Care

We know the toilet can seem like a convenient mode of disposal that can handle just about anything, but the truth is, it’s a lot more delicate than you think. Your toilet is only designed to handle human waste and toilet paper—nothing else. Even seemingly innocent items like facial tissues and wet wipes can cause serious plumbing issues. Facial tissues are highly absorbent and can swell up in pipes, causing a clog; wet wipes (even if they say they are flushable) don’t break down as quickly as toilet paper, and they can clump together, creating a blockage in the pipes.

Flushing anything besides toilet paper and human waste increases your risk of a clog, not only in your home’s pipes but in the city’s sewer system. This could cause sewage to back up into your home as well as your neighbors,’ and that’s not something anyone wants to be responsible for.

Use Drain Covers

While most people don’t intentionally put foreign objects down their bathroom drains, it can occur. Small pieces of jewelry and hair accessories can sometimes drop down these drains accidentally, but in addition to this, hair and soap scum can also cause buildups in drain pipes. Though these can seem innocent enough, they can also lead to clogs and slow drains. Using a simple mesh drain cover can help keep these smaller items out of your pipes, so they continue to run smoothly.

Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaners

If you do get a clog in any of your drains, please do not use a chemical drain cleaner to clean it out. While these were once the go-to for household clogs, people have since learned that these store-bought drain cleaners contain highly corrosive chemicals that can cause severe damage to the drain pipe. Instead, use a plunger or drain snake to clear drain clogs. If that doesn’t work, call a professional plumber. By clearing clogs the right way, you can avoid corroding your pipes, which could eventually lead to them cracking and leaking.

Know Your Pipes’ Age

For pipes, age is not just a number. The year your plumbing was installed can help you to determine how soon you’ll need to replace them. More importantly, it may give you an idea of whether those pipes are made using dangerous materials. If your home was built before 1970, there’s a good chance your pipes are made of lead, steel, iron, or polybutylene. All of these are prone to corrosion and breakage, but lead pipes also leak hazardous chemicals into your drinking water.

Stay on Top of Maintenance

As with anything in your household, maintenance is key to ensuring that your bathroom plumbing has a long functional life. For example, regular drain cleaning can be a great preventative measure to ensure that your bathroom drains continue draining quickly and efficiently, rather than waiting for a clog to occur to clear it. You should also regularly inspect your plumbing for any signs of leaks. Catching leaks quickly can prevent wasted water and severe water damage, which is expensive to repair. With so much plumbing in your bathroom, it’s essential to inspect all leak-prone areas, including under the sink, around the toilet, and around the bathtub and shower.

Running Bathroom Sink

Stay Attentive

Of course, you shouldn’t wait until your annual inspection to be on the lookout for leaks. You should always try to be attentive to your plumbing and note when anything unusual happens with your pipes. This might be as simple as a drain working a bit slower than usual or a drippy faucet to suddenly low water pressure or unexplained puddles on the tile. If you try to pay attention to your plumbing at all times, you’ll catch issues much sooner and prevent them from becoming more significant problems.

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