Top Practices for Residential Leak Detection

By July 30, 2018Blog

Leaks can damage your property in all kinds of way, especially if they go undetected for days, weeks or even months at a time.

What might start out as an occasional drip could escalate into full-on water damage, leading to the spread of mildew, mold, and other harmful forms of bacteria. If not sealed properly, these leaks could also do structural damage to your property, eating away at the support your home needs to stay intact.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly used non-invasive residential leak detection methods that you can use to keep your home safe and dry.

 Checking the Meter Is a Must!

Water Counter Meter

Water Counter Meter

If your home is leaking water, the first place to look is the water meter. Maybe you’ve noticed a recent spike in your utility bills as if someone left the water on. Regardless if the bill total has changed, take a look at your water meter when you’re not using any water to see if water is flowing through the system.

Every meter is different, but you should see some kind of visual indicator that your home is using water such as a spinning wheel or a lit-up water droplet.

It’s Important to Know If the Leak Is Inside or Outside Your Home

When you’re not using water, but your meter says otherwise, that means you have a leak. The following pointers will help you:

  • Turn off the main water valve for your property.
  • After that see if the leak is inside your house or between the meter and your house.
  • When the main valve is off, and your system is still delivering water, the leak is outside your home.
  • If the system goes quiet with the main water valve, the leak is inside your home
Detecting leaks

Detecting leaks

Detecting Leaks in Toilets

 Toilets can easily cause leaks since you’re using them frequently throughout the day. If you’re flushing constantly, even a small leak can add up to some major headaches and exorbitant water bills down the line. If you suspect your toilet is guilty of a leak, try this:

  • Try putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank.
  • Wait about an hour without flushing the toilet to see if any of the food coloring shows up in the toilet bowl.

If food coloring shows up, then you have a leak. If not you’re lucky because toilets leaks aren’t too costly. It usually involves replacing a small valve or the flushing mechanism.

 Visual Signs of a Leak

Another noninvasive leak detection method is to look around your property for visual signs of a leak.

If a pipe is leaking behind the wall or in the ceiling, you may notice some slight discoloration or a yellowish spot near the affected area.

Using Your Eyes Can Really Make a Difference

Look around your home for these visual signs, including places that might not get a lot of foot traffic such as the attic, basement, crawl space and other hard-to-reach areas. You may also notice water droplets or ripples and bubbles in the wallpaper or drywall around your home. Use these guidelines to check for signs of an underground leak as well.

water on walls

Water on walls

Water Sensors and Thermal Imaging

You can place smart water sensors around your home, especially in tight corners and between walls where you’ve had leaks in the past.

Technology that Helps

A sensor can be connected to an app that you can use on your smartphone. If water comes near the sensor, it will alert you in real-time that you have a leak on your hands. You can stay on top of any leaks in your home even if you’re hundreds of miles away. This is also a great way to manage ongoing leaks if they continue to be an issue.

Some professionals may also use thermal imaging tools to look behind walls for leaks without physically altering your property. These tools can sense water movement and changes in temperature, which makes them effective when it comes to noninvasive leak detection.

Leaks can pose a major threat to your home and your personal possessions. If you suspect a leak, contact the professionals at Hernandez Plumbing in Miami for immediate assistance. We’ll be there to stop the leak and clean up the mess as fast as possible.  You may also enjoy our article, “5 Ways to Find a Water Leak In Your Home” if you enjoyed this one.


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