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Water Leak inside a wall

Don't Drown: Here's How to Find a Water Leak Inside a Wall

Are you locked in a race against the clock, scrambling to find a water leak before it causes irreparable damage to your home? Or do you just suspect something is not quite right, and a few signs are telling you that something may be leaking in the depths of your property?

In both circumstances, a leak is not something you can simply ignore and you need to find it fast.

A leak can be damaging and expensive. Below, we tell you how to find a water leak inside a wall so you can save your home, quickly!

Use the Water Meter

One sure-fire way to tell if you actually do have a water leak is to keep an eye on your water meter. If you have been in your property for a year or two, you should know the average water costs, give or take a little for any price increases or service additions. A sudden spike in your water consumption and bills could mean that you have a leak.

One way to do this is to turn off all water inside and outside the house. Go to your water meter and check for a triangular-shaped dial or a silver wheel. Both of these should move whenever water is flowing through, so when a tap is on or the shower is being used. 

If these dials are registering water movement, but everything is turned off, then you have a leak. If you don't have these dials, take a reading and wait a few hours without using any water. If the reading has changed, then you could have a leak. 

If you have trouble finding or accessing a meter, another way to check is by analyzing your utility bills. Look back over the last few months and see if you have had a significant or gradual increase. If the bills are roughly the same each month, you probably do not have a leak. 

Water Pressure

Sudden drops in water pressure, when filling a faucet, bath, or taking a shower, can indicate a leak somewhere in your system. Check that no one has turned another water outlet on in the house. Turn them all off, turn one back on, and if the pressure is higher then you may have a leak

Hot Water

Check the times your traditional or smart hot water heater turns on. If it is on a lot of the time or stays on, then it could indicate a leak in the hot water pipes. 

How to Find a Water Leak Inside a Wall

Once you have determined that you do have a leak, the next step is to set about trying to find the exact location. There are a number of methods and tricks you can try to facilitate this;

Food Coloring

It is very important to test your toilet system, as around 30% of the water in your home is used in sanitation. You can perform an easy check using normal household food coloring. 

Add a few drops of coloring to your toilet water tank and wait around 10 minutes. If the coloring shows up in your toilet bowl, a drip is allowing drinking water to flow from the tank to the drain, without actually flushing anything. 

Look For Mold

Another giveaway sign of a possible leak area is dampness and mold. As well as the smell, mold can be seen as visible spots and even large fungus. However, it is more likely to be noticed as changes in the color of the wall, walls, ceiling, and paint. 

If you are checking for mold growth, remember to check in your roof space for leaks or problems in the roof itself. You should also look behind and inside cupboards, and behind any utility machines like dishwashers and clothes washing machines. 

Check Your Exterior

Check the outside of your property, including the garden, yard, and driveways. If you have any sort of lawn watering system, do a thorough check of the whole length as these are renowned for springing leaks. Double-check any hoses at the joins to see if you have any water seepage, and replace the parts if you do.  

Detecting Underground Leaks

Underground leaks can be a little harder to detect, as they are often tucked away and out of sight.

The smell will be the first giveaway, as any mold or water may take a while to appear visibly if it is underground. If you see pools of water and damp patches but no leak in the ceiling, then you have a pipe leak underground. 

If you have a concrete surface, you may see some large cracks appearing. This may be accompanied by an uneven surface as the concrete is pushed up from the water leak below. 

You can use leak detection tools to assist you. Each brand and model will work differently, but they essentially all send you an electronic message when a leak is detected. This allows you to react quickly, saving time and money on potential long term damage to your property. 

Most Common Places 

If you are still having trouble finding the leak, you can check some of the most common places they occur. First, check all of your appliances that are hooked up to the water supply, such as your washing machine. Check all the attachments, valves, and pipes. 

Check the water tank and hot water boiler. If you can hear hissing or see marks on the floor below, but no visible signs of an immediate leak, you could have a slow leak. You will need to call in a specialist for this. 

Finally, check your bathroom. Do a check of the toilet, faucet, and any showerheads. If you have a bathtub, then you may need to check the plumbing underneath the tub itself. 

Get Help

Once you know how to find a water leak inside a wall, and locate the leak, you may be able to fix it yourself if it is a minor problem. However, for peace of mind, it always pays to call a professional service like Mr. Rooter.

We have experienced staff that can get out to you quickly with maximum efficiency, limiting the terrible damage a leak can cause to your property. Call us today for an instant quote