What do I do if I think I have a water leak?
A water leak is a common plumbing problem, especially in older homes. A leak can cause damage to your home, and it's important to attend to the issue to avoid mould issues, and other negative consequences of a leak. Calling a plumber out to locate a leak and fix a leak can also be costly. Here are a few steps one can take in order to minimize damage, and hopefully keep plumbing bills to a minimum.
First thing is first, why do you think you have a leak? Is it obvious pooling of water, or a more discreet sign? There are a few reasons you might think you have a leak -below are some common signs that point to a water leak somewhere in or outside of your home.
Signs of a water leak
1. Abnormally high water bill
2. A constantly wet lawn
3. Pooling of water on pavement or concreted areas
4. Swollen skirting boards in the home
5. Staining on walls/plaster
6. Musty odour
Now that you're pretty sure there is a water leak somewhere, what do you do? One of your first courses of action could be to check your water meter. Turn off any water in the house, and check your meter. If the meter is still turning over, this may indicate water usage, and thus a leak
You've done some detective work and are certain something is leaking - the next course of action would be to check possible sources of the leak. Below is a fairy comprehensive list of places to check for a water leak. This may save your plumber some time, and help you save some money when it comes to repairs.
Where do I check for leaks?
a. is your toilet constantly running? If the seal on your cistern is broken, you may see water constantly moving from the tank into the bowl, as if your toilet were constantly flushing
2. Kitchen and bathroom taps
b. check under all taps in the house to check for pooling of water (i.e. check underneath the kitchen sink for water or wet fixtures)
3. Garden taps
c. If the garden tap is leaking, you would might see dripping of water from the tap
4. Hot water system
d. Is anything dripping from your hot water system? Check your pressure time relief valve - is water dripping from the valve/pipe connection?
5. Shower heads
e. have a look at shower heads/bath spout -is there a constant drip of water even when taps are turned off?
If there is a bad enough leak, and immediate damage is a concern, head to your water meter and turn your water mains off. A small, constant leak may not indicate shutting off the mains. In any case, an experienced plumber is going to need to help you fix the situation.
When calling a plumber, there are a few things to keep in mind. Provide as much information over the phone as possible, and take photos of the leak if you have found the source. With sufficient information, the plumber may be able to give you more of an accurate quote of how much time and money it will take for the problem to be fixed. Keep in mind, leak detection isn't always easy, and depending on the situation, a considerable effort in terms of time and labour may be required for a fix, especially in the instance of roof leaks.
In any case, arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible, asking plenty of questions is important, and continually communicating with your plumber is important. At Curaflo, we pride ourselves on involving the home owner as much as possible, and keeping stakeholders abreast of findings and recommendations in the most timely manner.
This post merely skims the surface of water leaks; there may be more you can do yourself to fix a leak. Give us a call anytime to discuss any concerns. We provide free advice over the phone, and are happy to go over all your options.
Thanks for reading,