Discovering a leak in its earliest stages can save you from costly water bills and extensive property damage. If you’re suspecting a leak but aren’t quite sure where it’s coming from, this plumber’s guide will walk you through the process of detection, ensuring your peace of mind.

pipe leaking

Step 1: Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill

A sudden, unexplained increase in your water bill is often the first sign of a potential leak. Comparing current usage to previous months can help you determine if there’s a significant change that needs attention.

Step 2: Conduct a Meter Test

Shut off all water in your home, including faucets, dishwashers, and washing machines, and record the water meter reading. Wait for 1-2 hours without using any water and check the meter again. If it has changed, you likely have a leak.

Step 3: Use the Food Coloring Test for Toilets

Toilets can be a common source of leaks. To check, add a few drops of food coloring to the tank and wait about 30 minutes without flushing. If the color shows up in the bowl, there’s a leak in the toilet flapper or valve.

Step 4: Inspect Faucets and Showerheads

Look for drips or puddles around faucet bases and showerheads. Listen for drips and examine fixtures for any water that shouldn’t be there. Simple repairs like replacing washers or gaskets can often fix these issues.

Step 5: Check Outdoor Connections

Leaks can also occur outdoors. Regularly inspect hose bibs, spigots, and irrigation systems. Look for wet spots in your yard, which could indicate an underground leak.

Step 6: Monitor the Water Heater

Check your water heater‘s pressure relief valve and the area around it. Water pooling or signs of corrosion can signal a leak.

Step 7: Look for Signs of Corrosion on Pipes

Corrosion can lead to leaks. Look for green or white buildup on copper and brass fittings and on shutoff valves.

Step 8: Check Walls and Ceilings for Water Stains

Water stains on ceilings or walls are indicative of a leak. Be sure to also inspect under sinks and in the back of cabinets.

Step 9: Listen for Running Water Sounds

When it’s quiet, listen carefully for the sound of running water. This can help you pinpoint the location of a hidden leak.

Wrapping Up: When to Call a Professional

While these steps can help homeowners detect many leaks, some may be elusive or located in areas that require professional tools and expertise. If you’ve gone through these steps and still suspect a leak, or if you’ve identified one but need help fixing it, it’s time to call in the professionals from Plumb Smart.

Our expert team is equipped with the latest in leak detection technology and can resolve any plumbing issue you’re facing. Don’t let a leak disrupt your life—contact us today and let us take the worry off your hands.


Schedule one of our plumbers when it comes time to call a plumber to help find the leak. We offer guranteed pluming work, and decades of experience.

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