HIDDEN WATER LEAKS
OCT 30, 2017
There are many water leaks signs and, in turn, larger problems that water leaks can indicate — as we frequently mention in our other articles on this blog. If you suspect you have a water leak but can’t locate it, it can be incredibly frustrating and frightening, knowing the huge amount of damage leaking water can cause over time. In this post, we are taking a look at how to find hidden water leaks both inside and around your home for your peace of mind.
WHERE TO FIND HIDDEN WATER LEAKS
Throughout your house, multiple areas have the potential for hidden water leaks. For example, a toilet, bathtub or shower are primary sources of hidden water leaks and the resulting headaches.
HOW TO FIND A WATER LEAK IN YOUR HOUSE
Hidden water leaks in the shower:
If you notice signs of hidden water leaks like loose tiles or vinyl floor that is changing shape near the shower, you may have an issue. You may also notice paint that is peeling or flaking, as well as spots of mold on the wall or floor near the offending shower or tub. Caulking around a door frame for the shower can work wonders toward fixing this type of leak if it is caught early on.
A hidden water leak can also be caused by a faulty drain. If you suspect this may be an issue, test it out. Plug the drain, then add enough water to completely cover the drain. Place tape or some sort of marker at the edge of your puddle and come back an hour later. If the water has receded while the drain plug is in place, it is a sign that you have a leaking drain.
Over time the grout around your shower or bath tiles can begin to deteriorate, leading to leaks into the backing board behind. Signs are similar to those discussed in the first paragraph, but will persist even after you have reinforced the door to your shower. Replacing old grout will do the trick, but be sure the water has not worn down and inhibited the integrity of the backing board — if it has, then you will have a much larger project on your hands.
Hidden water leaks in a toilet: If you notice water accumulating around the base of the toilet, the toilet flange may be to blame. Another sure sign of this issue is a toilet that moves slightly. The fix here will depend on whether or not the wax seal between the toilet and flange is intact. A flange may be loose, have bolts that are broken or it may be too low (it should be above the surrounding floor level). A trained plumber will be able to identify the issue quickly.
Alternatively, if you suspect a hidden water leak inside the toilet (coming from the tank), you can test by simply adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank, waiting a couple of hours (with no one using that toilet in the meantime) and then checking to see if the colored water has made its way to the toilet bowl.
HOW TO FIND A WATER LEAK UNDERGROUND
A leak in your home’s slab foundation may be the worst of all hidden water leaks. Indicators of slab leaks include unexplained spikes in water bills, decreases in water pressure, a water heater that is constantly running, the sound of running water even when all fixtures are turned off, mold and warped flooring, or wet carpet. If you have any indication that you have slab leaks, call a professional for a thorough inspection right away. The potential for damage, in this case, goes far beyond a running toilet.
Hidden leaks underground outside: Assuming you are connected to city water, sewer and the like, your plumbing runs from a main line that connects it to other houses in your area. Alternatively, pipes run underground and are connected to a well and septic tank. Either way, your plumbing pipes run underground some distance from your house, leaving the potential for hidden water leaks outside of your house. If you suspect hidden water leaks outside, look for many of the same warning signs for slab leaks — increases in water bills and lower water pressure. Additionally, you may notice greenery growing where it has not in the past, swarms of insects or unexplained areas of standing water on your property. We do not advise homeowners try to repair this type of water leak themselves unless they know where all of the utility lines are on the property and they happen to be plumbers themselves. Before you start digging, give us a call!
Hidden water leaks can occur in far more places than we can cover in one blog. But hopefully, this has given you a general sense of which types of signs of hidden water leaks you should be on the lookout for and which signs warrant a call to a professional. If you think you may be experiencing signs of hidden water leaks but are unsure, or if you need help addressing a definite water leak, schedule an appointment today. All of our work is guaranteed and we look forward to serving you.