Plumbing System: How to Detect Leaks
A troublesome issue that you may come across involves leaks in your plumbing system. Though you can enlist the help of a plumber to help fix the issue, some methods can be used to detect the leaks on your own to make sure that another underlying culprit is not causing the issue. After all, allowing leaks to continue and go unresolved can result in corroded pipes that need to be replaced. In worst case scenarios, pipes can burst, leaving you with a mess in your home if not taken care of immediately.
Listening for the Leak
Perhaps the first troubleshooting step you can take to figure out this plumbing issue is to listen for the leak. Before you can do this, you need to find the water supply valve in your home and shut it off. After you close the valve, listen for leaking water wherever it may be–in the bathroom, kitchen or even basement. You can use duct tape or a similar patch to make sure that the leak is temporarily stopped once you find it, but calling a plumber soon after is essential if there’s no way for you to fix it yourself.
Looking at the Water Meter
The second step to take to definitively figure out if you have a water leak–assuming the “listening” test didn’t work–is to look directly at the numbers on the water meter. Depending on where you live, this can be a small box on the ground or on the side of your building. Look at the digits to determine if they are moving and whether the number rises. If the numbers do fluctuate and increase, you’ve verified that you have a water leak and should notify a plumber.
Getting Help from a Plumber
If you’re certain that you have a plumbing leak or if you want to get a second opinion, the next step is to call a trusted plumber. One of the first steps that a plumber is going to take is going to be to confirm that you actually have a leak.
The plumber can use a variety of tools, instruments and techniques to verify the leak. Though you can take some of these measures on your own, having unnecessary equipment around is simply a waste for the homeowner.
Nevertheless, the plumber can use a radar or even a geophone to listen for and detect leaks. Geophones amplify the sound of the leak while a special radar can search for the leak via waves and receive a signal back, indicating that a leak exists. The plumber may also use the “gas” test, which involves filling the water pipe with industrial hydrogen and paying attention to the movement of it through the pipes.
All things considered, leaks should be detected immediately no matter if it is verified by you or a professional plumber. Even minor leaks can turn into serious problems, resulting in higher bills or damage to pipes or home appliances. Detecting the leak–and having it fixed immediately with the help of a plumber–is crucial to the health of your home plumbing system.