Leaks can be a messy and expensive plumbing problem, but they are usually easy to fix. One of the best ways to determine if you have a leak is through leak detection.
It’s possible to detect leaks on your own and many homeowners try this DIY leak detection method before calling a pro.
There are a few steps you can take to detect a leak in your home, including:
- Check exterior hose bibbs to make sure one wasn’t left on.
- Check toilets by placing a dye tablet or food coloring into the toilet take. If the color seeps into the bowl, you’ll need a flapper valve repair or replacement. You can check for a flushing leak by wedging toilet paper between the tank and the bowl and seeing if it stays dry during the flush.
- Check faucets by turning them on one at a time, moving the faucet handle back and forth, and looking for leakage around the valve stem and faucet spout. Also check the drain piping under the sink for water.
- Work drain plugs open and closed with the water running in baths and sinks, and check for leaks where they connect to the drain system.
- Inspect the garbage disposal and dishwasher for leaks while each appliance is running.
- Check the walls where pipes connect and look for moisture, sponginess, or discoloration.
- Listen for a humming sound from your pipes. This is usually a good indication of water loss, which can occur through a fixture or outlet, or through a leakage point along the line.
Calling in the Pros
If your DIY inspection doesn’t put you at ease or you would rather a professional check for leaks right from the get-go, there are a few things to know. You’ll want to hire an experienced professional who can find your leak and help you repair it. This is a situation in which cutting corners can lead to property damage and greater expense long-term, so if you go with a pro, make sure you’re choosing someone qualified for the job.
Here’s what to consider when choosing a leak detection specialist:
Before hiring any leak detection or plumbing specialist, ask how long they have been in business, with what professional organizations they are affiliated with, and if they have a staff or if it’s just one person running the show. It’s also a good idea to find out if they participate in continuing education about leak detection.
Ask if the company uses the most up-to-date electronic equipment for leak detection. “Old school” methods don’t cut it anymore and won’t do you much good. They’re really no better than DIY methods of leak detection, so before you invest in a professional, make sure they are really offering professional services.
If the professional you hire is unable to find the leak, what comes next? What happens if they don’t detect all of the leaks? Is there a guarantee they’ll come back and fix additional problems, or will you need to pay for another service call?
Get a price estimate on leak detection beforehand. Also, ask if their price quotes are guaranteed.
Some homeowners insurance companies offer leak detection services or can at least refer you to someone they’ve worked with. In some cases, insurance will even pay for leak detection. You can also check with property management companies or online review services for highly recommended leak detection professionals in your area.
If you’d like more information on detecting and dealing with leaks in your home or you need help identifying a leak, give us a call!