Leak Detection: Finding Leaks in Your Plumbing System

Worry about a leak in your house is not only a hassle, but it can be stressful if you don’t know where it is coming from! The water line running through your home is usually metered for billing purposes. If you have a leak, it can be very costly. If you notice your bill being higher than usual or if you have been notified that you have a leak, here are a few things you can do on your own before calling a plumber. Being aware of your home and the places of possible leaks can save you a lot of money!

1. Check the Pressure Relief Value
– These valves on the hot water tank are sometimes plumbed directly into a drain and may be leaking without you realizing it. If you can’t remove the drain pipe trying listening for a hissing sound to indicate it is leaking.

2. Toilets
– Check the toilet for leaks by removing the top off the tank and listening intently. If you can hear hissing, try to locate the source. When you find it, see if you can fix the leak. If not, call a plumber!
– If you can’t see anything, add food coloring in the tank (just a few drops). After waiting a few minutes and if color shows up in the bowl you have a leak in the flapper that is allowing water to seep through.

3. Sinks
– Open cabinet doors beneath the sink and use a flashlight to look for moisture at the joints. Clear out the cabinet to examine the bottom for water stains, mold, mildew, dampness or peeling material.
– Tighten the fittings and wipe away the moisture. Then turn the water back on to see if it makes a difference.

4. Floors, Walls, Ceilings
– Examine the floor around fixtures and appliances that use water (bathtubs, dishwashers, refrigerators, toilets, etc.) Spongy spots or warped flooring can indicate moisture.
– Also examine the walls and ceilings in rooms located directly beneath bathrooms. Stains, bubbling or peeling paint can indicate a leak. Make sure to thoroughly locate its location before you begin ripping out floors or walls.
– Now if the valve is shut off and the meter has stopped moving then the leak is somewhere in your home. Try the other techniques or call a plumber to locate it!

5. Basements
– If you still have not found a leak, check out the exposed pipes in the basement. Moisture or corrosion is a sign of a leak. Mold, Mildew or rotted wood can mean the leak is probably in the area.

Remember, if you feel uncomfortable finding or fixing a problem, call a plumber! Gillece technicians are focused on you the customer to make sure your needs come first. Call us today!

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.