How to Find and Repair Hidden Plumbing Leaks – 2024 Guide

Plumbing problems are the worst nightmare of every house owner. Not only can they destroy property, but these leaks can also go unnoticed for some time. We are not even going to discuss the cost of fixing these and the toll they can have on your finances.

To avoid this issue from ever occurring, you have to inspect your property regularly. In the following text, we will discuss some telltale signs that there is probably a leak somewhere in your home. If you notice any of these, you have to act as soon as possible because otherwise, a disaster may occur.

Inspect the water meter


Just because you don’t notice an obvious water leak in your house or around your property, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. If you suspect that something is going on, there is a simple test you can complete. Turn off all the faucets in the house and unplug the washing machine and dishwasher. Then go outside to your water meter and write down the number displayed on it. Come back after some time and check the number. If it has increased, there is a leak somewhere.

Now, this can be a tricky situation since finding the problem if there isn’t any apparent damage can be quite challenging. You can further narrow it down by shutting down the home’s main water valve to determine whether the leak is indoors or outdoors. Pinpointing the exact location is another issue, and in this situation, you should contact professionals like Lucas Plumbing and ask them for help.

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Check the bills

Depending on the severity of the damage, there may not be a significant change in your latest water bill. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on it. We will discuss it further later in the text, but some small leaks only affect the annual water consumption. On the other hand, some that are more severe, especially those that occur underground, will be evident on your monthly bill.

Investigate the faucets


Generally speaking, the biggest percentage of water leaks occur due to a faulty faucet. Even though these may seem insignificant, they can greatly increase the water consumption, and therefore, your monthly bills. In addition, even if this issue isn’t fairly obvious, it can still cause damage, which is why you should regularly look under the sink and behind the cabinets. Even if the water isn’t accumulating somewhere, if you notice patches of mold or an odd smell, you can rest assured that the leak is there.

Usually, it is fairly simple to fix this problem, and in most cases, it is something you can do on your own. All you need is some basic handiness skills, the right tools, and new parts for the faucet.

Drain leaks

These are other common problems all households meet sooner or later. This most frequently occurs with fiberglass and plastic drains. If you don’t repair the drain as soon as you notice it, it can wreak havoc on the floor around the tub and the ceiling downstairs. Oftentimes, you can fix this problem by simply tightening the ring that fixes the drain to the shower pan or by getting and installing the new drain assembly.

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Test your toilet


If you know that there is a problem but have already inspected faucets and appliances, the next item on your list should be the toilet. The most common damage is a faulty flapper, so it cannot prevent the water from leaking to the bowl. There is another test you should do to confirm your suspicions.

Taking a bit of food coloring and add a few drops into the tank. Leave it to rest for about 5 minutes, and then check the bowl. If there are traces of color in the bowl, it means that this rubber stopper isn’t working properly, so you have to install a new one. Once again, this is a simple repair, so it isn’t necessary to hire a professional.

Look for clues

As already mentioned, some leaks can go unnoticed for weeks, and by the time you discover them, the damage can be extensive. So, after you are done inspecting faucets, toilets, and appliances, it is time to go around your house and look for other clues.

Firstly, begin with the walls. If you notice discoloration, the leak is probably behind the drywall, and the water is reaching the walls. Similarly, peeling wallpapers are another telltale sign that the boards are wet and that there is a leak somewhere behind them.

As already mentioned, if you notice a musty smell or see areas infected by mold, you should start looking for the problem immediately. Mold can only develop in a moist environment. In addition, even if you cannot find visual evidence of it, that musty smell is still a certain sign. It just means that you have found it early.

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Don’t forget about outdoor leaks


If you are absolutely certain that the problem isn’t inside the home, then there is only one option left. It is located somewhere in your backyard. This is another dreadful situation since you might be forced to inspect every inch of every pipe. What’s more, you cannot fix this on your own, so you will have to employ an expert, and the overall cost of the repair can prove to be quite high.

Nevertheless, you may be lucky, and there maybe are some obvious signs. Start by inspecting the driveway and pathways around the entire property to see if there is a water flow or puddles. If you live in an area with high temperatures, even the smallest amount of water is a sign. If it hasn’t rained in a while, there can only be one source, right?

Furthermore, a patch of grass that is greener there than it is in other parts of the yard is another sign that testifies there is an underground leak. If you notice that the grass grows there faster or that the ground stays wet longer after a rainfall, you have to deal with the issue immediately.