How to Detect a Plumbing Leak

How to Detect a Plumbing Leak

We've all heard the stories. Someone gets their water bill and just about has a heart attack over the final figure, which is significantly higher than usual. They call the water department just to find out that the meter reading was actually accurate. They're told that they probably have a leak somewhere on their property and that it needs to be located and fixed. But how do you go about finding the leak? We're glad you asked.

Water Leaks: How to Locate Them

There are a number of places to look to try to locate where the leak is in your home.

  • Start at the pressure relief valve for your water heater. This may lead to a drain or may be plumbed directly into your drainage system. Look for excessive moisture in the drain or listen for the hissing sound of leaking water.
  • Is your toilet running? Thousands of water can go down the drain every year to a toilet that doesn't shut off all the way. But even if it isn't running frequently, you may want to perform a dye Leaking ceilingtest by putting dye in the tank and watching for it to appear in the bowl.
  • Check the supply line. Turn off your home's main water shutoff and write down your meter reading. Go out for a couple hours, then come back and see if that number has changed. If it has, you've got a leak between the meter and your home.
  • Listen to your hose connections. Take a screwdriver and place the metal end on the metal of the connection, then place the spot just in front of your ear against the handle of the screwdriver and listen for a hissing sound. If you hear one, determine which hose spigot is the loudest. That location is closer to the source of the leak. If you don't, repeat the process indoors on your plumbing fixtures.
  • Check your fixtures for leaks. This can be indoors in faucets, shower heads and similar fittings or outdoors in pools, hoses and sprinkler systems.

By going through these steps, you should be able to locate most water leaks in your home. If you still can't find the leak, it may be time to call in a Pittsburgh plumbing service. If you're not currently working with one, contact Stahl Plumbing today and find out why we're one of the best plumbers in Pittsburgh.