Detecting plumbing problems early can save you from the harm of damaged property, loss of use, and a large cleanup and repair bill. Slow leaks can often cause damage that you do not see until it's already happened. Burst pipes, though, can make their presence known, in a big way, leaving flooded rooms and a big mess.
As a homeowner, both are bad scenarios and demonstrate why early detection techniques can save you harm, frustration, and money.
Has your Water Bill Increased?
Water rates in Sacramento vary by area, and wasting water, no matter where you live, is expensive. An increase in your water bill can indicate leaky faucets, toilets, water pipes, or a faulty meter. Often, leaks cannot be seen and can be hiding under your lawn, concrete floor, in a wall, or pooling in a dark corner of the basement. Walking into a home where the kitchen ceiling is now, the kitchen floor, due to a burst pipe, will give you a new understanding of the harm a water leak can cause.
What to Look For
The following are signs you make have a leaking pipe:
- Wet spots on ceilings, walls, or floors
- Pipes that emit strange noises or gurgling faucets
- Slow water flow
Plumbing Tips for Faucets and Sinks
Faucets in your kitchen and sink are two big offenders. When inspecting faucets look at the top as well as where the supply lines connect under the sink. While you're down there, make sure that the drain for the sink is not leaking. Wet spots under a bathroom or kitchen sink may be due to water from the faucet or the drain. Both types of leaks can ruin the bottom of your cabinetry, and water may eventually find its way into the sub-flooring and possibly cause structural damage.
Plumbing Tips for Toilets
Accounting for up to 30% of your house's water, the added leak in your toilet can substantially raise your water bill. A tip for testing your toilet requires food coloring. Drip a couple of colored drops into your toilet tank, and wait a few minutes. If color from the tank leaks into the bowl, you have a leak that allows the tank water to slowly leak into the bowl and down the drain, without ever flushing.
Plumbing Tips to Detect Leaks Outside your Home
Leaks can be in supply lines and sewer lines and either of these issues will create a wet, soggy spot in your yard. Water line leaks will be wet and soggy, while sewer line leaks will be smelly with insects gathered around. Other outside leaks can occur on exterior faucets, and water hoses left running. Even small leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water and cause a lot of damage before you find the problem.
Check your Water Meter
If everything you have inspected is leak free, check your water meter. A plumbing tip for water meter inspection means you will need to turn off all of the water in your home. Shut off the faucets, washing machine, dishwasher, and anything else that may use water. After you have done that, watch your water meter to see if it changes.
If you can see the dial move, you may have an unseen leak in the meter or in piping that, you cannot visibly inspect. If you do not see a change after watching for a few minutes, leave all of the water off in your home and check the meter in an hour, then at two hours. If it moves over that period, you may have a slow leak that you cannot see.
Have an Annual Plumbing Inspection
Following plumbing tips and taking the time to inspect your plumbing pipes is a practical measure for home and business owners. An annual plumbing inspection from the professionals at Express Sewer can provide detection of current leaks, and prevent future leaks. Contact us today for an inspection of the plumbing in your home, business, or municipality.