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House & Garden

How to Find a Water Leak

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Water leaks can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with in your home. Even if your water bills are telling you there’s a problem, they can be hard to find. That’s because many of your plumbing fittings and pipes are hidden from sight. Some are even on your roof or below your floors.

Once you know that you have a leak, because you’ve been getting very high-water bills or you’ve tested your water meter, you’re going to need to become a detective. Here’s how.

Look Outside

Often, we think of plumbing leaks as something that happens inside our homes, but there are actually many places outside where you might have a leak. That’s especially true if you have an irrigation system or a swimming pool.

Start your search for your water leak outside, and look for soft, spongy ground, cracked or indented paving and concrete, and areas of your garden that look especially lush.

Algae growth on walls or surfaces are another sign that there might be more moisture in that area.

Examine Your Walls and Ceiling

Many of your plumbing pipes are inside your roof and in your walls, so that’s another good place to look for signs of water leaks.

Peeling paint, rusty stains, soft ceiling boards and mould or mildew are all signs that there’s more moisture in your ceiling or walls than there should be.

Test Your Taps

Sometimes, a water leak is simply caused by taps and washers that have worn out. Place small containers under your taps to see if any water accumulates there when you haven’t used the sink or tap. This is a good sign that the problem might be in your hardware.

Inspect Your Cabinets

Very often, plumbing leaks are easier to spot in cabinets under your sink or wash basins. There are several fittings and pipes in these places that could be leaking, and it’s usually easy to spot.

Look for water damage to the cabinets or countertops, water that has accumulated in the cupboard, or visible water dripping from pipes or fittings.

Get Professional Help

When you think your pipes might be leaking, you'll want to call a plumber as soon as possible. Plumbing is not something you can tackle on your own, and you could do more harm than good if you try.

A good plumber will have all the tools and equipment necessary to find the problem, replace any damaged parts, and ensure that everything is sealed up and watertight.


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