How to Find a Hidden Water Leak in Your Home

September 26, 2017

A small leak may not seem like a big deal but if it goes unnoticed, it can cause significant damage and increase your utility bills. In fact, a high water bill can be the first indicator that you’re dealing with a leak and you need emergency plumbing Mission Viejo service.

But what if you don’t see any leaks in the usual places and still think the problem may be the plumbing? You can always turn to the professionals. Or try to find a hidden water leak yourself. Here’s how.

Check your water meter

You don’t have to wait for a bill to check water usage. Your water meter can help you discover a leak in your plumbing system. Here’s an easy step-by-step how to do it.

  • Shut off all water-using appliances. Before you check the meter, make sure that no one in the household is using water; otherwise, you’ll get inaccurate results. Turn off all the water-using appliances, outdoor faucets and indoor taps.
  • Find the meter. The water meter is usually located in a box in the corner of your yard near the curb or on the side of your house.
  • Read the dial. When you access the meter, you’ll see a round dial with numbers and a sweep hand.
  • Check the leak-detection dial. Most water meters have a leak-detector. It is usually a small blue or red triangle on the meter face. The low-flow indicator spins when water is being used. You might need to watch it for a few minutes. If you notice small movements, it’s time to call an emergency plumbing Mission Viejo professional.
  • In case there is no movement, you could still have a slow leak. To be sure, track the leak-detection dial and the sweep hand over a few hours. Note its position and then return two hours later to see if the hand has moved. If the answer is positive, you have water leaking somewhere in your plumbing system.

No leak-detector dial?

If your water meter doesn’t have a leak-detection indicator, it may take a few hours to finish the check. Don’t forget that all water use should be suspended.

  • Record the number on the dial. Look at the number displayed on the meter. It shows the amount of water used, expressed in gallons or cubic feet. Write down the numbers or take a picture.
  • Watch and wait. Watch to see if the number has increased. If it has, you probably have a fast-moving leak. In case it doesn’t change right after the check, wait for 2-3 hours and then check it again. Keep in mind no water should be used in the meantime.
  • Check the meter again. If the numbers have changed despite water being off, you may have a slow leak somewhere in your home.

Where to look?

The leak could be anywhere after the meter, even underground. Keep in mind that all piping after the meter is a homeowner’s responsibility. Therefore, you’ll need to have an emergency plumbing Mission Viejo professional locate and fix the leak.

While you’re on the lookout, you may try to find the leak yourself. Here’s what to search for.

  • Yard leak. Start by checking your yard between the house and the water meter. A muddy or soft spot or a patch of luscious greener grass may reveal the location of a leak.
  • Slab leak. A slab leak is a leak that occurs in the water pipes under the foundation or in the concrete slab. Sometimes, it can cause cracks in the flooring or walls. Mold and wet floors and baseboards could also warn you of the rising issue.
  • Crawl space leak. Check the crawl space under the house. Water will always trickle down. Even if you have a broken pipe upstairs, water may find its way to the crawl space.

Hire #1 emergency plumbing Mission Viejo professional

Keep in mind that some leaks, especially in pools and toilets, are usually sporadic and may not show on the water meter as steady leaks. Whether you find evidence of a leak or you highly suspect that you have one in your home, you should take action quickly. Hidden leaks can cause extensive damage so it’s best to contact an emergency plumbing professional.

If you are an Orange County resident, you can count on Emergency Home Solutions. We have the equipment to detect and fix a leak quickly and efficiently. We take pride in high-quality workmanship, prime customer service and fair pricing. Whatever plumbing, water damage or mold related issue you have, we are here for you 24/7! Call us today at (949) 916-0549 or contact us online!