signs you have a leak

How to Tell if You Have a Water Leak

Do you suspect you have a water leak? An obvious leak is easy to spot, but when a leak is hard to find, it can drive any homeowner a little crazy. Here are a few tips for investigating a leak and knowing when to call in a professional. 

5 Ways to Spot a Water Leak in Your Home 

1. Check Your Water Meter 

One of the easiest ways to identify if there’s a leak in your plumbing is to check your water meter! Be sure to turn off all the water in your house first. That includes shutting off your faucets and making sure that no appliances, like your dishwasher or washing machine, are running. Once you do that, keep an eye on your meter. Sometimes, you’ll see a change immediately. That indicates that you have a fast-moving leak that you’ll need to deal with right away. If you don’t notice any movement, check again in 2 or 3 hours. If you notice a change, you may have a slower leak, which also needs to be dealt with. 

2. Check Your Bill 

Another easy way to spot a potential leak is to keep an eye on your water bill. You’ll discover fairly quickly that you’re spending more and more on water than you used to. In reality, your water bill shouldn’t change very much from month to month, especially if your family size and habits have stayed the same. If you see that your water bill is out of range, you may want to call a professional plumber. An expert can detect leaks in your pipes, no matter how hidden they may be. 

3. Check the Exterior of Your House, Too

Leaks don’t just happen indoors. Be sure to check your outside spigots by attaching a garden hose and watching the water. If you have an irrigation system, you should also have that monitored. Even a small leak in your irrigation system can waste thousands of gallons of water per month. 

4. Try the Food Coloring Trick 

A toilet leak can really drive up your water bill. To test for a leak in your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring to your tank. Then, wait 10 minutes or so. If the color appears in your toilet bowl, then you’ve got trouble. A leak like this can allow water to flow, even without flushing. It’s important to fix toilet leaks as quickly as possible. 

5. Follow Your Nose & Use Your Head 

Often, you can detect a leak by simply noticing a moldy odor in your cabinets. You can also assume, if you have an older plumbing system, that a leak is likely; plumbing systems over 20 years or so are in decline. Finally, look for discoloration around water heaters, pumps, or washing machine hoses. Rusty coloring or oxidation is a clear sign of a gradual leak. 

Armstrong can Provide Same Day Service for Plumbing Problems 

Leaks aren’t simply irritating. They can indicate a serious plumbing problem that requires diagnosis by a professional. At Armstrong, we answer questions about plumbing issues every day. We’ll be happy to come out, usually on the same day, and help you fix the problem. Contact us today for an estimate. We’re ready to help. 

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