Tips for Pipe Leak Detection & Repair

Water seems harmless. We drink water. We bathe in water. We wash our clothes and dishes with water. We water our plants with, well, water.

But whether it’s a leaking pipe or unforeseen environmental event, water can wreak havoc on our homes.

The detrimental presence of water can lead to rot, mold, bacteria, rust, and other types of material deterioration as well as electrical malfunction and danger. Water damage can cause serious bodily injury and property damage. 

The Water Research Foundation reports that leaks are approximately 12 percent of all residential end uses of water. 

Household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide.”

The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.

Leaks accumulate into wasted water and eventually result in costly water damage. The United States Environmental Protection Agency advises that during colder months, “if a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks”. If your water meter shows changes within a few hours during which water is definitely not being used, a leak may be a source of water usage.

Pipe leaks are an unfortunate but common problem that can be fixed by a pipe leak plumber like California Plumbing. A common source of pipe leaks is a worn-out water pressure regulator that requires repair or replacement. Water pressure regulators are devices that control the pressure of water as it enters your home’s water system from your city’s main water line. You can check your water pressure regulator, usually located in the basement, for leaks around the valve.

Toilets are common sources of leaks. A colorful experiment involves adding food coloring to the toilet tank; if the color appears in the toilet bowl after ten minutes, there is a possible leak. Be sure to flush the toilet after the experiment to avoid staining the toilet with food coloring. An old toilet flapper, a rubber valve seal at the juncture of the tank and bowl, may allow leaks and require replacement, best performed by a professional plumber. 

Free Toilet Bowls in the Comfort Room Stock Photo

A showerhead leaking at 10 drops per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.

Always check that sinks, tubs, and showers are completely turned off. There is no need to apply too much force into turning or switching the knob or handle—simply make sure that it is all the way shut so that the water flow completely stops.

A leaky sink or shower can be relatively easily detected. Check the sink faucet as well as the pipes within the sink cabinet for any leaks. Leaks inside sink cabinets can be especially troublesome as the wooden construction can easily deteriorate from excessive moisture. Shower leaks may occur at the showerhead or from a loose connection between the shower pipe or shower hose and shower head.

The internet is abundant with quick fixes for leaks. While DIY remedies may appear to help in the short term, professional plumbing services will ultimately save your home from further leaks and damage while saving money in the long term.