Finding Hidden Leaks: A How-To Guide
Hidden leaks… even the words fill us with contempt. The bane of homeowners everywhere, hidden leaks silently drive up water bills, damage homes, wear away at plumbing, and more. The only good way to stop a hidden leak from doing serious damage is to detect it as soon as it pops up. That’s why we’ve put together this guide: to help homeowners like you find and stop our nemesis, the hidden leak.
There are a number of different ways you can find hidden leaks in your home, but our first suggestion is using your water meter. Here’s how you do it:
Stop using your running water.
Shut everything off, including any sprinkler systems you might have. Make sure everyone knows that you’re going to run this test before you turn the water off.
Locate your water meter.
Since the water meter is mainly intended to be used by the utility company, they’re frequently located outside the home near the curb.
Take a look at the water meter and write down the number.
Wait for three to six hours. Make sure no one uses any water during this time, to ensure the test is accurate.
Go back and check the water meter again.
If the number on the meter has changed and recorded water use, that means you have a hidden leak. Now that you know for sure, you can take steps to discover and fix it.
There are other ways to discover hidden leaks as well. You could try monitoring your water bill month-over-month and comparing it to past months. Have there been increases without explanation? You could also look for trends in your overall water usage month-over-month.
Now you know how to spot hidden leaks, but where do you look for those leaks? Here are a few likely places to start your search:
Look at your outdoor spigots and check to see if, when you attach a garden hose, water leaks out when turned on. That’s a sign that the gasket in the hose connector is in need of replacement.
Is there pooling around the base of your heater? This is an area of the home that can be victim to leaks that homeowners don’t typically think of.
Under your sinks.
How often do you look under your sink? Check the connections in cabinets beneath sinks if you suspect you have a hidden leak.
Your washing machine hoses.
These frequently become outdated and worn out without homeowners noticing. A small leak can add up to big costs over time. Replacing old rubber hoses with stainless steel ones can fix current and prevent future leaks.
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