Leaking pipes can cause serious water damage in and around your home if you don’t fix the problem quickly. So, how do you find the leaking pipe in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
How to Find a Water Leak
Plumbers use sophisticated leak detection technology to find and fix leaks around the home. However, you can look for some leaks yourself before you call a plumber.
The easiest way to find a leak? Start your inspection in the bathroom or kitchen. From bathtubs to washing machines, there’s a lot of plumbing in these rooms. You should also check your loft space or basement for obvious leaks.
Leaking pipes can be notoriously tricky to find because the damage is often underground or behind walls. So, there are four techniques you can use to narrow down the search. The methods you choose will depend on whether you use a water meter or not.
Without a Water Meter
There are three ways to find leaky pipes without reading the water meter.
1. Inspect Your Pipework
The easiest way to find a leak without a water meter is by checking the visible pipework. Look for damp patches or obvious drips around the:
- Bathtub or shower tray
- Kitchen appliances
- External pipework (e.g., drainpipes)
2. Follow the Smell
Leaky pipes often cause stinky smells, especially if you’re dealing with a cracked or broken sewage pipe. So if you notice a rotten or strong odour in your bathroom, chances are there’s a leaking pipe nearby.
3. Check Your Floors and Walls
Wet patches on the floor or brown, damp spots suggest there’s a water leak. Other obvious signs of water damage include:
- Broken caulking and sealant around plumbing
- Loose tiles
- Peeling wallpaper or paint (caused by moisture or condensation)
Using a Water Meter
Unsure if you’ve got a leak in the first place? Check your water meter.
4. Inspect Your Meter Reading
First, turn off all taps and take a note of your meter reading. Wait at least 10 minutes and check the meter again. Have the numbers changed? If so, you’ve got a leak somewhere. Now it’s just a matter of finding the source.
How to Fix a Leaky Pipe
Got a leaky pipe? Waterproof putty is a great temporary fix for small, visible leaks, but you’ll need a plumber to fix it properly. So while you’re waiting on your plumber, pick up some putty from the hardware store.
Most importantly, don’t try to fix leaks around your sewage lines or heating tank without professional help. There’s a real chance you’ll do more harm than good!
Sometimes, a simple clogged drain causes the pipes to back up and overflow. However, leaky pipes can be a symptom of a larger problem with your plumbing, so it’s always best to call a professional plumber before attempting any repairs yourself. And if you suspect you’re dealing with a leaky pipe but don’t know where the problem is, call a plumber right away.