How to find Hidden Water Leaks

water spill on floor

At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Lancaster, we understand the importance of early detection when it comes to water leaks. Finding hidden leaks in your plumbing system can not only save you money but also prevent potential disasters. We are committed to ensuring your peace of mind and the well-being of your home. Here are six ways to uncover those sneaky water leaks before they become a major headache:

  1. Check your water meter: The first step in identifying a potential water leak is to examine your water meter. Start by turning off all water sources in your home – that means shutting off all faucets, and making sure the dishwasher and washing machine are not in operation. Keep a close eye on the meter and see if it starts to change. If it does, you likely have a fast-moving leak. If there's no immediate change, wait two hours and check again. If the meter has moved despite all the water being off, you may be dealing with a slower, hidden leak. Remember, any piping after the meter is your responsibility as a homeowner.
  2. Look at your water usage: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises you to monitor your winter water usage. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, there's a high probability of a serious leak within your plumbing system.
  3. Monitor your bill: Rising water bills, even when your water usage habits remain consistent, can be a sign of a hidden leak. Gather bills from the past few months and compare them to check for a steady increase. Your water bill should typically remain within the same range month to month. Keep in mind that some of your pipes may be underground, making it harder to detect leaks, but you'll still be paying for them. To be sure, have a professional plumber conduct a comprehensive inspection of all your pipes. Be on the lookout for warm spots on the floor (especially with under-slab piping) or the sound of running water; these are signs that need immediate professional attention.
  4. Grab some food coloring: Toilets can account for a significant portion of your water consumption. To check for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait for about 10 minutes. If the color appears in your bowl without flushing, you have a leak that allows water to flow from the tank to the drain.
  5. Check exterior usage: Leaks aren't exclusive to the inside of your home; they can occur outside as well. Examine your outdoor spigots by attaching a garden hose; if water seeps through the connection while the hose is running, replace the rubber hose gasket and ensure all connections are tight. If you have an irrigation system, consider an annual professional inspection. Even a minor leak in such a system could waste a substantial amount of water every month.
  6. Use common sense: Routinely inspect the back of cabinets and under sinks for any signs of mold or unpleasant odors, which could indicate a hidden leak. Prompt attention to these signs could save you thousands in repair costs. If your home is over 25 years old, be especially vigilant, as your plumbing system may be nearing the end of its life expectancy. Check all accessible connections at the water heater, pumps, washing machine hoses, and valves for any signs of oxidation or discoloration – clear indications of a slow leak.

If you suspect a leak anywhere in your plumbing system, don't hesitate to call in a professional. Waiting until the issue worsens can lead to a real mess.

When you need professional guidance and swift action, your local Benjamin Franklin plumbers are here to assist you. Give us a call at (717) 210-5644, and we'll track down the leak for you and make any necessary repairs. Your peace of mind is our top priority.