Tips To Help You Find Household Plumbing Leaks

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In a world where many regions don’t even have access to clean water, wasting any of it would feel very wrong and even seem like a crime.

The thing is, we do waste a lot of water because of household leaks. According to the EPA, plumbing leaks in our homes waste 900 billion gallons of water every year.

Some water leaks are readily apparent, like a dripping faucet or a busted frozen pipe in the yard.

However, some household plumbing leaks are so sneaky they could go on for a long time and waste countless gallons of water without your knowledge.

If you think there’s a plumbing leak somewhere in your home, then it’s time to conduct a leak detection inspection.

Here are some tips that can help you locate a plumbing leak at home.

See If You’re Getting Massive Water Bills

To support your suspicion that there is a water leak somewhere, you might want to check your water bills first.

It’s time to be concerned if your water bills have been rather high lately, when your household only has two or three members, and your usage has been pretty much the same.

A giant leap in your current water bill from the previous month is also an indicator of a possible water leak.

Test Your Water Meter

A simple way of confirming the existence of a plumbing leak is doing the water meter test.

Make sure all fixtures and water-using appliances are turned off and see if the leak indicator in your water meter continues to turn. If it does, then there’s your confirmation that you have a household plumbing leak.

Put Food Coloring In Your Toilet Tank

Even when they’re not leaking, modern toilets already have a reputation for wasting water, as a single flush already uses up five to seven gallons of water. Can you imagine how much more wasteful they can be with a leak?

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to confirm if your toilet is leaking. Just take some food coloring, pour some of it into your toilet tank. Check the toilet 15 to 30 minutes later.

If your toilet bowl has colored water, you probably have a defective flapper, which opens and lets water into the bowl every time someone flushes.

While you’re checking out the toilet, you might want to look for even the smallest cracks, as they could cause water waste as well.

Check Walls, Floors, and Ceilings

A modern home typically has plumbing running underneath floors, behind walls, and directly above the ceiling.

If any of those pipes are leaking, there would be plenty of moisture, which will eventually cause water stains, damp spots, peeling or bubbling paint, or even foster mold growth.

Check Your Yard For Damp Spots

There are pipes buried underneath your yard.

If there is pooling water in any part of your yard and it hasn’t rained for some time, it’s possible that you have a yard leak.

An extra lush patch of green in your yard could also indicate that an underground leak is providing it with plenty of moisture.

Some leaks are easy enough to find, but there are plumbing leaks that are just too tricky to locate. They don’t show any of the obvious signs and may require specialized equipment to detect.

Check Your Basement

Considering that many pipes run through your cellar, it’s only right to go down there and check them for leaks.

If your water heater is in the basement, check for puddles of water near it, as they’re possible signs that the water heater tank or any of its pipes are leaking. However, keep in mind that your basement is the lowest point of your home, and it’s possible that any puddles you might find came from somewhere else.

Nevertheless, you still should inspect the water heater tank for cracks and check its valves and pipes for any signs of leaking as well.


If you can’t find any sign of a leak but can’t shake the feeling that you’re wasting water unknowingly, call a professional plumber to get some peace of mind. With a plumber’s skills, training, and specialized tools, identifying the source of the leak and fixing it shouldn’t be too difficult.

About the Author: Anthony Quinn is the Marketing Strategist of Phoenix Leak Detection. Aside from the marketing aspects of the business, he is also in charge of reaching out to residential and commercial property owners to look into their leaking problems. When not writing, he plays golf with his friends and colleagues.
Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

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