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You are here: Homepage » Articles » Detecting water leaks

How to Detect a Water Leak

A water leak in your house would imply that excessive water is flowing out and you are being billed for it, because the meter is displaying it. However, if you are careful and check out even your small leaks, you can save a lot of time, money and headaches. Here are some simple methods to detect water leaks. Although these are relatively simply tasks, it is always recommended to contact a professional plumber for tips and guidance.

The hot water tank is the first thing that you should look into. The pressure relief valve needs to be checked, and even a hissing sound will help you to identify the smallest leak. The toilets are easy to check as well by identifying a hissing sound from the top of the tank. The lid has to be removed and if you can locate the sound and it is a small leak, it may be possible for you to repair it. Otherwise a plumber is required.

Use leak detectors for identifying leaks. Add food coloring into the tank and if the color leaks into the bowl, you have just detected a water leak. Once you know exactly where the leak is, try and repair it on your own, otherwise call a plumber.Carry out the same experiment in all your toilets.

If there is no leak in the toilets, try and check out the entire line from the water meter to your house. There may be a pool of water somewhere or a portion of the grass in the garden may be greener or muddier than the rest. There might be a leak somewhere and you may be lucky to find it. In this way you can save the expenses of a plumber. Check the meter thoroughly by shutting off the valve to the house, and if it is still running, there is a defect in the meter, or in the pipe between the meter and the house. Naturally if the meter stops moving once you have shut off the valve, then the leak is definitely in the house. These simple techniques will help you to locate the leak on your own.

If you now have to detect a water leak inside your house, begin with the hose bibs, which are pipes into which the hoses are hooked. Look under the kitchen sink, bathroom shower, water tank and bathroom sinks. Put the metal end of a screwdriver on the metal part of the hose-bib.By placing your thumb knuckle on top of the screwdriver, place your knuckle on the side of your head just in front of your ear. As the sound travels directly to your ear drum, the screwdriver acts like a stethoscope and you can hear all the sounds inside the hose-bib. If the sound is loud, you are close to the leak, otherwise you move on to the next hose-bib. Mark the leak with a chalk, so that you can direct your plumber to the exact location of the leak. You can carry out the same procedure with the hose bibs in the bathrooms.

Check the condition of the hose, the taps and the drip irrigation systems in the garden. The shower heads are also prone leaks. A swimming pool needs to be checked for leaks as well.

It is often difficult to locate a leak, and plumbers aren't always successful either. But if you can manage to find an approximate location, it is a great help for the plumber and can certainly benefit you as well. Sometimes it may be easy to fix a leak with a little help from DIY equipment, but if you are not used to carrying out plumbing tasks, it is best to bring in a professional plumber.

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