May 1, 2024
Common Places Home Plumbing Leaks Occur

Are you worried you have a hidden plumbing leak in your Greenville, WI home? At Black-Haak, we know how frustrating it is to watch your water bills skyrocket and have no idea why. That’s why we make leak detection and repair a top priority. Here’s some good news: You can prevent expensive water damage from leaky pipes and other plumbing fixtures. It starts with knowing where the most common home plumbing leaks occur.

To avoid water waste and damage to your home, you must know how to spot potential problems. In this post, you’ll learn how to identify five common plumbing leaks in your home plumbing so you can call a plumber quickly. You’ll also learn how our plumbers detect hidden leaks before situations get out of hand.

1. The Toilet

According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, 20% to 35% of residential toilets leak water. You might think of a leaky toilet as one that leaks water around the base. While this is certainly a leak you don’t want to ignore, the more common leaks happen inside the toilet’s tank.

A leak between the bowl and the tank happens when interior parts wear down. However, it often goes unnoticed because it happens inconspicuously. Signs of a leaky toilet include ghost flushing and constant running. If you notice any of these problems, you likely have a flapper valve leak. You need a plumber to troubleshoot the problem and replace any worn interior parts.

2. Bathroom and Plumbing Fixtures

We understand the temptation to ignore these leaks because the water’s not causing any damage. It’s going down the drain, but so is your hard-earned money. Leaky faucets and showerheads can waste up to 20,000 gallons of water annually. Spending a little on plumbing repairs to readjust the valves or replace the leaky fixture saves you significantly over the long term.

3. Beneath Walls and the Foundation

Your home has a large network of hidden pipes and valves within its walls and beneath the foundation. If one of these pipes or valves loosens, develops a pinhole leak, or bursts suddenly, the leakage could continue for quite a while before you realize there’s a problem. Most people only suspect something’s wrong when they notice that they have skyrocketing water bills or puddling on the floor. The sound of rushing water in walls when the water’s turned off is another obvious indication.

If you think you have an invisible leak, the first thing you must do is turn off the home’s water supply. Look for the master valve where the water comes into the home. Once you’ve stopped the water from continuing to flow, you need to call a plumber. Later in this post, you’ll learn more about how plumbers detect hidden leaks.

4. Inside Supply Lines

Your home’s water supply lines are buried in the ground at least three feet or more deep. The lines can break if they’re old and damaged, have recently experienced shifting, or have been struck from digging around then. Often, spotting these types of leaks proves tricky. However, there are some ways to identify a supply line leak. You might notice damp soil near the meter or wet soil near where the supply line is buried. It’s also possible that you’ll find water in the meter box.

When a supply line breaks, you might wonder who’s responsible for the repairs, the homeowner or the local utility company. Most times, when the leak happens between your home and the meter, you’re responsible for repairing the damage. If the plumber you hire determines the leak is within the easement, reach out to your local water utility. The responsibility might lie with them.

5. Your Home’s Water Heater

Your home’s water heater can leak, too. You can spot some leaks more easily than others. For example, a tank water heater that’s leaking from the bottom is most likely rusted from the inside out. You’ll notice water trickling from the bottom or, in the most serious instances, rushing from the tank. A problem like this requires water heater replacement.

Other water heater leaks occur from faulty pressure relief valves. These valves drain into the floor drain near the water heater. Depending on where your water heater is located, you might not notice the leak. That’s why you always want to stay alert for unusual sounds, such as unexplained dripping.

How Plumbers Detect Hidden Leaks

So, you suspect you have a hidden leak. Now what? Licensed plumbers like those at Black-Haak use their training and professional skills to locate hidden leaks. They’re taught to locate, access, and repair leaks fast to prevent water damage to your home. Let’s look into various methods they use to accomplish this.

Visual Inspections

Most plumbers begin their troubleshooting by performing a visual inspection of your home’s plumbing system. They look for obvious signs of leaks, such as dripping water, puddling, water stains, and mold growth.

Isolation Testing

Also called water pressure testing, plumbers use this technique to detect hidden leaks by observing your plumbing system’s water loss, movement, and usage. The plumber uses a water pressure gauge attached to the water connection, like a faucet. They turn on the faucet or other fixture to pressurize the gauge. After this, they turn off the water meter and watch the gauge’s pressure.

If a leak exists, the gauge’s pressure should decrease. The plumber then goes through the house and turns off one fixture at a time to isolate and rule out certain connections.

Video Pipe Inspections

Video pipe inspections use durable, waterproof cameras with an LED light and high-resolution video camera to see inside water pipes. The camera is attached to a bendable scope that easily maneuvers around the pipe’s curves. As the camera moves through the pipe, they watch a live video feed on a monitor and look for signs of leakage. They also look for pipe damage such as corrosion or cracks that can cause future leaks. Some cameras even have technology that allows the plumber to mark the leak’s location for faster, less invasive repairs.

Audio Equipment

Audio equipment helps plumbers detect leaks behind drywall, cabinets, and concrete slabs. Some of the types of audio equipment used include deck plates, ground microphones, and listening discs.

While all three audio equipment options amplify and isolate leaking sounds, deck plates work exceptionally well at detecting leaks through concrete, brick, and other hard, dense surfaces.

Leak Detection and Repair in Greenville

Black-Haak is a family-owned business operating in Greenville and the surrounding areas since 1956. We owe our longevity in the plumbing industry to our customers and our highly skilled plumbers. When you hire us for leak detection and repair, drain cleaning, pipe repair, or any other plumbing service, you can expect quality workmanship, flat-rate prices, and conscientious service. We’re a BBB-accredited business with employees who want nothing more than to make your home a safer and more comfortable place. We offer a full range of reliable plumbing, electrical, and HVAC services.

If you have a plumbing leak in your home, we’re on it. For precise leak detection and plumbing repair in Greenville or the surrounding areas, call Black-Haak today!

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