Drip, drip, drip goes your faucet — and money down the drain. Some water leaks, like a dripping faucet, may not seem like a big deal or reason for concern. On the other hand, more substantial water leaks, like a cracked pipe or leaky water heater, may grab your attention right away to find a solution. And, there are those water leaks that remain hidden until you see the telltale signs of expensive water damage that will put a drain on your wallet.
Whether big or small, water leaks should be addressed ASAP to prevent additional damage to your home. What follows are seven ways you can detect water leaks in your Twin Cities Metro area home and how to deal with them.
LOOK FOR WATER STAINS
One of the ways to detect water leaks is to look for water stains. Water leaks caused by leaky pipes inside walls will eventually leave water stains on walls, floors, and/or ceilings. If you spot any water stains, call the professionals at MN Plumbing and Home Services right away to avoid additional and expensive damage to your home.
TRY FOOD COLORING
Toilets use a lot of water in the average home. If you have a running toilet or you suspect it is leaking, you can use food coloring to test it for a water leak. Put several drops of food coloring inside the tank. Wait a few minutes. If the food color shows up inside the toilet bowl, you have a problem in the tank that is causing a leak. If the problem persists, the flush valve assembly may need to be replaced.
FOLLOW THE MUSTY ODOR
When you detect a musty scent in your bathrooms or basement, you may have a water leak somewhere that is causing the odor. Check the floor and walls for water stains. Look inside cabinets to see if pipes are leaking. Another cause for the musty odor could be the wax O-ring on the toilet needs replacing. If it isn’t obvious where the odor is coming from, contact your plumber. You may have a hidden water leak that will cause more damage.
MONITOR THE WATER BILL
Is your water bill going up but your water usage hasn’t increased that you’re aware of? You could have a hidden water leak. Check for water leaks at all the sinks and appliances, such as the clothes washer, kitchen appliances, and water heater. Look at previous water bills and compare usage as well. It could be that utilities have increased that would explain higher prices, as opposed to a water leak. If your water usage has increased, call your plumber to look for hidden leaks in your home.
WATER HEATER LEAKS
Old water heaters are prone to leaks. Water leaks may occur at the temperature and pressure relief (T&PR) valve and/or at gaskets where parts enter the water heater. The T&PR valve is located on the side of the water heater near the top. There may be a long tube attached to the device. Look to see if water is leaking there. Next, look for signs of rust and discoloration on the water heater which indicate water leaks. If the T&PR valve or gaskets are leaking water, you should replace your water heater right away. A failed water heater can release dozens of gallons of water inside your home.
Another area common for water leaks is outside your home. If you have a sprinkler system, test it and look for broken sprinkler heads that allow water to gush out. Check all hose bibs and valves outside your home for water leaks, too.
CHECK THE WATER METER
You can check for water leaks by using the water meter that monitors water usage in your home. To do this, write down water usage from the meter. Next, turn off all appliances that use water, including the clothes washer, the dish-washing machine, and faucets. Go outside and check the water meter. Wait several hours and check the water meter. If it indicates water has been used, you likely have a hidden water leak somewhere that your plumber needs to find.
If you have a water leak or suspect you have a hidden leak somewhere in your Twin Cities Metro home, take care of it right away by calling MN Plumbing and Home Services at (952) 469-8341 to fix it. We’re available for emergency plumbing services, too!