How To Find The Source Of A Strange Leak In Your Home

Posted on: 10 August 2018

A leak isn't always as obvious as a broken fixture or pipe under the sink. Sometimes the first sign of a leak will be evidence of water in the middle of a carpeted room or behind a wall. Narrowing these leaks down can sometimes be tricky, but it's worth the effort of locating and fixing it.

Investigate If Leak Happens Without Running Water

One important step toward figuring out the source of a leak is to establish whether it's consistent or whether it only happens when there's running water. You can further narrow this down by checking your water meter for signs that water is running even if all the taps and appliances in your home are turned off.

Start by turning off all water-using appliances in your house, then look at your water meter. With no water being used, the meter should show no water moving; if it still shows water flowing, this means the leak is constant, so it's somewhere a tap or appliance has no control over; this may indicate a leak in pipes that carry a water supply to something, rather than from it.

Next, try running taps or appliances one at a time and looking for evidence that the leak is still happening. For example, If you only seem to notice dampness after you've taken a shower, even if the shower isn't very close, this could signify a potential problem with your drain pipes, shower head, or pipes in the walls.

Search For Signs Of Water Damage

Water damage isn't always immediately evident, so it might take some more thorough searching. Check for any foul musty smells; this could indicate mold, which grows in consistently damp environments. Look for any damp spots on your wall or near your baseboard, and look under your sinks; if the storage space beneath your sinks is crowded, now's a great time to clean them out and look for signs of dampness.

Other signs can include peeling paint, warping or caving walls and ceilings, and stains in your wall or flooring. Many of these can be easily overlooked if the leak isn't severe, so be diligent!

Search From The Top

Occasionally you may see the results of a leak far away from where the leak actually is – sometimes multiple rooms or floors away. Leaking water will follow the path of least resistance, which can take it many places; it can travel down wall pipes and underneath floors that have any incline. This unfortunately makes finding the leak a little more difficult, but it can still be done.

To start, don't narrow your focus to only water pipes, drains, or appliances in the immediate area. Consider all the places the water could be coming, factoring in things like the incline of your home or its position relative to the rest of the rooms in your house. If it's a low place like a first-floor bedroom or a basement, you might do well to look at the rooms on the floor above; water can easy travel under the second floor, down the walls, and back under the first floor.

In some cases you may need to do a little extra work to see if you can trace the water. For example, you can pull up some carpet or remove sections of dry wall. This might not lead you directly to the leak itself, but can help you find out how it's traveling. Contact a service, like Travers Plumbing & Heating Inc, for more help.