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Not all plumbing leaks are as obvious as a dripping tap, and can last months or years before being noticed. Florida is a wet and humid place, but if you start to notice water damage coming from inside your home, this may indicate a more serious problem. If your water bill is starting to run excessively high, or your water meter is showing an increase in water usage, this is sometimes your only indication of a leak. Though often they are hidden ‘behind the scenes’ of your walls and flooring, and can be impossible to find without a trained professional, we have a few leak finding tips to help you out.
Signs That Your Plumbing is Leaking
Major damage can result from a leak that is left too long. This damage can take the form of water damage to your building materials, ruining walls and flooring. Additionally, a damp environment can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which pose a health risk, especially to asthmatics. Listed below are common places where a plumbing leak may occur, as well as how to spot it.
Water Supply Line LeakThe water supply is between the water meter and your household. If the pipes are leaking you may notice either water in the meter itself, or damp soil and greener grass along the length of the pipe.
Faucet, Toilet, Shower and Tub LeaksThese leaks can be obvious dripping or silent leaking behind the walls or under the tub. If there is a presence of water around the tub or shower, especially damaging the walls or flooring, this may indicate a leak. If the toilet is running without it having been flushed, or you can hear water running into the tank, this may also be a sign of a leak.
Pool and Fountain LeakIf your pool or fountain is losing water much faster than the usual rate of evaporation, this can indicate a small leak somewhere in its structure. If algae forms too soon after chemical treatment, or the surrounding soil is damp, this is also a sign. Additional indication of a leak is when the surrounding tiles or deck begin to come loose or crack. Cracks can also form in the shell of the pool, which can be hard to spot but which can leak gallons of water per day.
Washing Machine, Fridge, and Dishwasher LeaksThe hoses behind a washing machine and dishwasher degrade over time, especially since they experience varying water temperatures, with hot water causing more wear. If you have a look behind either appliance and notice cracking or abrasion on your pipes, dampness or mold, and wet patches on the floor, these are all signs of potential leakages. The water supply to your fridge may also experience a leak, which can be harder to detect.
General Signs Around the HomeIf there are any signs of mold and mildew anywhere in your home, this indicates dampness due to the presence of water. When paint or wallpaper are bubbling, stained or damaged from no obvious external cause, this may be due to a leak. Swelling of wooden flooring or details, as well as a musty or earthy smell in your home are also signs of excessive wetness building up inside your home.
What To Do?
If you experience any of these signs at all, they may be indicating to you that there is a build-up of moisture in your home that needs to be addressed. If you suspect a leak, we suggest two very important steps.
Check Your Water MeterWhen you notice an increase in your water bill and signs of damage around your home, you can do a water meter test to verify that a leak is occurring. Switch off all of your water appliances inside and outside your home, and do this during a time when no one will need the water. Make a note of the water meter reading, and wait for about 3 hours, not using any water, before taking another reading. If the water meter has increased, this shows that water is leaking somewhere in the system. It is important that you address this as soon as possible to save you from potential damage, as well as paying excessively high water bills.
Call A ProfessionalThe next and only step for you to follow should be to call one of Art Plumbing, AC & Electric’s licensed professionals to come and inspect your plumbing. We strongly suggest you avoid DIY, as hidden leaks can be deep underground, or located behind many layers of building material. We have a leak detection strategy that is non-invasive and can find leaks easily. When you call us in, we can give the problem areas a once-over with our thermal imaging, which allows us to see through many materials just by scanning them. We can use metal detection for the pipes, as well as use microphone insertion to listen for leaks.
No matter the problem, if you suspect a leakage in your home, give us a call at 561-391-1048. Art Plumbing, AC & Electric have you covered with professional care and quality service.