Leaks, whether in residential or commercial buildings, come in two general varieties: indoor and outdoor. Each one requires a different approach when looking for the source of the problem.
Indoor Leak Detection
Inside your home, leaks can happen anywhere, especially in hard-to-reach places that you wouldn’t expect. Some examples are tiny leaks in bathroom plumbing or leaks in a toilet. Both of these leaks are easy to overlook unless you know where to look. Bieg Plumbing can give you a comprehensive diagnosis of exactly where your problem has occurred, but before we arrive, here are a few tips on how to find an indoor leak.
- Start with the lowest areas of a building. As a general rule, always start looking for leaks at the lowest level of a structure, such as a basement or a crawl space. Leaks in basements have a tendency to pool on the ground, which can seep into wall baseboards. If walls have already started to crack and buckle near the baseboards, call Bieg Plumbing ASAP as this may signal a greater problem with your plumbing. In the worst-case scenario, damage to baseboards may be a sign of foundation damage caused by underground leaking.
- Check appliances, toilets, sinks, and faucets. Any appliance that connects to a building’s potable water system, such as a dishwasher, can also be the source of a leak. A leaking washing machine connection is yet another place to look for problems. Often, appliance leaks are so small that you won’t notice them until they’ve damaged flooring. Most people start their search for leaks at sinks and faucets, but these are obvious culprits and should come last after you’ve tried hard-to-reach places. A toilet can be leaking from the tank into the bowl at the overflow tube, which is difficult to detect since it’s so subtle.
Outdoor Leak Detection
Leaks outdoors often occur at fixtures that connect to your community’s potable water supply. Among many other possibilities, swimming pools, sprinkler systems, and spigots are notorious sources of outdoor leaks.
- Start at service lines. Any valve leaks over time, so to find an outdoor leak, start where water enters a building as these systems regulate water pressure. Too much pressure can cause valve leaks at spigots in particular, which may only show as a tiny, gradual drip. Exposure to freezing temperatures in winter can also cause outdoor valves to degrade.
- Check pool pumps and sprinklers. Without proper irrigation, a swimming pool or a sprinkler system can be the source of leaks. Outdoors leaks often have no visible symptoms, such as soft, muddy ground. An underground outdoor leak can spill dozens of gallons of water per hour without a single sign that something is wrong. That sign for the unlucky few is structural damage to a building’s foundation, so if you have any concerns about an outdoor leak, call us ASAP.
At Bieg Plumbing, we’ve seen leaks occur just about anywhere. If you follow these tips and still can’t find a leak, let us know, and we’ll fix it after a full diagnosis.