How to Find a Water Leak in Your Home

By February 21, 2020Plumbing
Hidden Water Leak

Some homeowners may find their water bill slowly increasing over time. How can you attribute this to a potential hidden water leak in your home? How can you find the water leaks? In this blog, we will be covering how to find a hidden water leak in your home.

Determining if You Have a Hidden Water Leak

Unexpected Increase in Your Water Bill

One way to determine if you have a hidden water leak is to look at your water bill. If the bill has increased over time, or there was a massive increase one month without a reasoning why, this could be a clue.

Checking Your Water Meter

This is the easiest way to determine if you have a hidden water leak. Simply shut your water off at all possible points. Check that hoses, showers, sinks, and toilets are not operating during this process. Once you ensure all water is off, you can look at the water meter to see if the dial is moving.

Not sure where your water meter is? If you are in a home, typically the meter is near the street in your grass on one side of the home. In other cases where water is shared, like a condo, you can find the meter near your water heater.

If the dial on the water meter is moving while all the water is supposed to be off, then you have a hidden leak!

Common Areas of Hidden Leakage

Water Leaking at the Toilet

To check leaking at the toilet look around the base. If you see staining or water, this could mean you need to reset your toilet on a new wax seal.

Another area your toilet may leak is at the shut-off valve coming from either the floor or wall. Use your hand to check for moisture around the valve or on the floor below the valve.

A final area where water may be leaking is inside the tank. To check for this, flush the toilet. If the toilet gives a sound of continuous dripping inside the tank or bowl after flushing, you could be using more water than necessary. This is known as a “constantly running toilet” to which you need new parts for the inside of your tank. You can find the new parts you need by watching YouTube videos or talking to someone at Home Depot/Lowes.

Dripping Faucets or Shut-off Valves

After checking your toilets and shut-off valves for toilets, look at your faucets. Ensure they are not dripping when positioned off. Furthermore, check underneath the sinks at the supply valves. Use your hand to check for water around the valves or on the floor/cabinet underneath the valves.

Water Heater

You can also check at all the plumbing connection points at your water heater. Sometimes you can have pinhole leaks in these areas. Be sure to check the floor, the pan the water heater sits in, and the surrounding area for moisture on the ground.

Other Areas of Leaking

It is possible to have water leaks underneath your concrete slab, in your crawlspace, or in your attic. Typically, there are hints to finding these by looking for staining. For instance, a tile may be warmer if hot water is leaking under the slab. On the other hand, you may see staining on the walls or ceilings or hardwood/laminate flooring.

Here are a few pictures of what that looks like.

Water Leak Showing at Hardwood Floors
Water Leak Showing at Hardwood Floors | Found by Honor Services
Water Leak Beneath Tile - Hot Water Supply Line
Water Leak Beneath Tile – Hot Water Supply Line | Found By Honor Services

What to do if you cannot find a leak?

If you cannot find a water leak and your bill is unexpectedly high, you may want to contact a home inspector. A home inspector can crawl through the attic, crawlspace, and use advanced equipment to help find a leak.

Some of the equipment an inspector can use is a thermal camera that checks for temperature differentials. Moreover, an inspector can use a moisture meter to tell if walls, floors, or ceilings are actually wet.

Ultimately, a home inspector has greater experience to assist you in finding a water leak. The inspector can then give you options to fix the issue yourself or contractors that may be able to help.

If you are in the Greater Tampa Bay Area, we can come out to help you! Just contact us.

Aaron Shishilla

Author Aaron Shishilla

Aaron Shishilla is the youngest registered professional inspector in Florida. Coming from a family-owned home inspection company and now the marketing manager at Waypoint.

More posts by Aaron Shishilla

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