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Tips for Catching Leaks Before They Cause More Water Damage and High Water Bills

Water leaks are among the most common plumbing problems homeowners can face – and they’re also among the most troubling. The EPA estimates that the average U.S. household’s plumbing leaks can waste close to 10,000 gallons of water yearly. Leaks don’t just add up to a hefty water bill every month. It can also cause extensive water damage to the home, cause the foundation to shift or crack, and lead to mold growth.

Unfortunately, the longer any leaks go unnoticed, the worse these problems will become. And since water line leaks are often hidden behind walls, floors, or underground, they can go undetected for a long time. So, to help homeowners catch hidden leaks before they can do further damage or keep raising water costs, here are a few tips for spotting them!

Common Water Leak Signs

Of course, a dripping faucet, a running toilet, or puddles of water near fixtures are all telltale signs of a leak. But it’s not always that easy. If corrosion, wear and tear, or a loose fitting is causing a pipe to leak somewhere out of sight, the signs can be a little trickier to spot. Here are a few things that may indicate a water leak:

  • Running water or dripping sounds when no water is being used
  • Lower water pressure
  • Water stains or damp spots on walls, floors, or ceilings
  • Visible mold growth
  • Musty or mildewy smells in the house
  • Puddles or damp areas in the yard
  • Patches of extra thick and lush grass in the yard

Higher Than Normal Water Bills

water billAs mentioned, water leaks inevitably lead to higher water bills. After all, homeowners get charged for how much water goes through their water meter, not how much gets put to good use, so water lost to leaks still counts toward the bill. However, homeowners can use this unfortunate fact to their advantage to identify possible leaks.

If homeowners notice an unusually high water bill and can’t find any reason for the additional usage (filling a pool, watering the yard more heavily than usual, houseguests accounting for significantly more showers and toilet flushes, etc.), they may have a leak. In this case, their best bet would be to call a plumber to perform leak detection services.

Test for Leaks Using the Water Meter 

water meter Some water meters have a leak indicator dial that often resembles a triangle or asterisk. If it’s moving, there’s likely a leak. If there is no leak indicator dial, homeowners can still run a simple test to determine if there’s a leak:

  1. Make sure no water fixtures or appliances are in use.
  2. Go to the water meter and write down or take a picture of the numbers on the meter’s face.
  3. Homeowners can wait an hour or two and recheck the meter (making sure not to use any water in the meantime). If the numbers on the water meter have changed, water is still flowing, and there’s likely a leak.

Once homeowners think they have a leak, they should call in a professional. Plumbers use special leak detection equipment, such as acoustic listening devices, thermal imaging systems, and video inspection equipment, to track down hidden leaks with incredible accuracy. This technology takes the guesswork out of the water leak repair process, so any homeowners who suspect they have a leak should immediately call a plumber for water leak detection!

About The Plumbing Dr

The Plumbing Dr has more than four decades of experience serving Falls Church and the surrounding areas. They offer same-day service, 24/7 emergency support, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for water leak detection and repair services in Falls Church, VA.

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