Water leaks start small and get worse. Knowing there’s a water leak as fast as possible is your best way to tackle the issue before it causes lasting damage. While obvious water leaks are easy to take care of—there’s no ignoring that your toilet is overflowing—not all leaks are so easy to spot. Sometimes, water leaks occur deep in your walls, and you won’t even know there’s an issue until months later. By then, you have rotting wood, damaged wires, and more.
Catching those nefarious leaks can be tricky, but if you use these top tips, you’ll be able to find leaks quickly and know how to tackle them in a snap.
How to Find Hidden Leaks
Hidden leaks occur in the pipes behind your walls, and in most cases, they’ll be slow drips of water, not a gushing flood. To find them, you’ll want to use a few of these critical methods:
Check Your Water Meter: The easiest way to determine if there’s a leak is to check your water meter. If your water meter keeps increasing, even if you have all your faucets off, there’s likely a leak in your walls. The same applies to pressure.
Find Visual Signs of Water Damage: There are also visual signs — water damage results in stains, mold, and cracks. Remember that the “leak” can sometimes be due to normal water use but poor sealing in your kitchen or bathroom. If your shower stall leaks, for example, that water can pool on your floor and start making its way through a crack in your grout.
The First Step
If you have found the source of your leaks, you can take a few emergency steps. Otherwise, you’ll want to shut off your water and call a professional to help find and stop that leak.
Once you’ve found the source, it’s time to stop the water flow. You can do this by shutting down your water using your main shutoff valve. You’ll then want to drain the pipe (if applicable) so it’s clear. You can do this by flushing all the toilets in your home. Doing this will clear up space in your pipes so the leak stops.
There are three main ways to quickly seal a leak in a pipe until you can get a professional in:
- The first is to use a fiberglass tape. Fiberglass tape is an excellent short-term solution until your plumber can fix the issue. To use it, wrap the tape around the pipe and wait the recommended amount of time (usually around 15 minutes) for the resin to harden.
- Another short-term fix is to use epoxy putty.
- You can also use a repair sleeve that wraps around pipes to provide a seal. Remember that you’ll need the right size; otherwise, it won’t work.
Don’t view these as permanent fixes; these methods address the problem in the short term but will require professional attention later.
Call Yoder Plumbing for a permanent fix!
You’ll need a plumber to permanently and safely fix that leak. Typically, this will be done by installing a slip coupling on your pipe. You’ll need a pro because you’ll normally need to cut the pipe first and install it with a new coupling.