12 Tips To Detect A Water Leak In Your Home
Most homes as they age will eventually develop a water leak in their plumbing & heating system. It is very important to periodically check your heating system, faucets, toilet, hot water tank, hose bibs, etc to identify and repair as needed. Small plumbing leaks can develop into large leaks if left alone and small repairs are significantly less to fix. Water leaks can damage wood structures, flooring, ceiling, sheetrock, carpet, and lower rooms. Left un-repaired, water can cause mildew and black mold to grow which is hazardous to your health.
Here are a few simple items to check and test for a water leak:
- Water Meter. With the water off in your home and all appliances “off” check your water meter and see if any of the dials are moving. If any of the dials are moving especially the little red triangle in the center of the meter (note: not all meters have this little red dial) then there is water flowing somewhere and should be identified.
- If the water meter is in a meter pit out in your yard then shut the main water valve in your home and check the water meter dials to see if they are moving. If they are then there is a leak in the water supply underground between the meter pit and the house.
- Check your water heater. Many hot water heaters begin to leak as they age. Also there is a valve called the temperature & pressure valve (also known as the T&P Valve) that will also leak with age or if the water pressure is too high.
- Check your boiler. Take a hard look at the T&P valve on your boiler, check the temperature, the circulators, the air release valve, etc. This equipment is prone to leaking especially in the winter when used frequently.
- Toilets. Toilets are notorious for leaking from the tank to the bowl. Remove tank top and listen for water escaping. Put a little food coloring in the tank and see if it enters into the bowl. If you see food coloring in the bowl then there is a leak in the flush valve and will need to be replaced.
- Check outside hose bibs. This is another faucet that tends to leak frequently as the washer inside wears down quickly from overtightnening and chlorine in our water supply.
- Faucets for kitchens, bathrooms, tubs, and showers. Faucets that are frequently used wear out very quickly and if they are over tighten will wear out faster. These require regular maintenance and replace washers and cartridges frequently to prevent costly repair.
- Always look in cabinets under sinks and in ceilings under bathrooms and kitchens to pick up on first signs of water trouble.
- Lawn sprinkler systems. Make sure valves to meter and sprinkler system are “on” and a water valve to home is “off”. Next, make sure lawn sprinkler system is “off” on the controller and solenoid valves are also “off”. Next, see if the meter is spinning. If the meter is spinning then chances are one of the solenoid valves are not closing 100% and should be replaced. Every once in awhile, especially in the spring, debris will enter the valve from the water supply and prevent proper opening and closing and this valve should be serviced. Another way to see if you have a leak in your sprinkler system, with the system in the “off” position, is if you see any puddles in your yard next to any sprinkler heads.
- Check your appliances such as your washing machine and dishwasher. Check the floor around them when they are “off” and check them while they are “on”. Look to see if there are any plumbing leaks. Look for rust on the bottom of the equipment. Change the hoses on your washing machine as they were only designed to last a few years and not a lifetime. I have had several clients report to me that they suffered significant water damage due to a broken $10 washing machine hose.
- Check your drainage and waste system. Every once in a while a pipe will leak.
- Check your water pressure! If your water pressure is higher than 60 psi then have a pressure regulating valve installed on your water supply. High water pressure causes stress on valves, piping, solder joints, and solenoid valves. It will cause premature failure and replacement of equipment.
We strongly suggest you purchase a water alarm from our Rain Rich store. It will save you a lot of time and money.
A good idea would be to create a list and map of the locations of equipment, valves, main valve, water meter, hoses, etc and check twice a year. My suggestion in older homes these items should be examined more frequently. For a free guide and check list please click here or call (631)-423-2211 to discuss or answer any questions you may have. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.
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