Because so much of the plumbing in a house is hidden from sight behind walls, in the floors, and beneath concrete slabs, it’s easy for leaks to start and escape notice. These leaks can go on for days, months, and years undetected—wasting water and accumulating construction damage. It’s imperative to have these leaks found and repaired as soon as possible.
But how do you find hidden leaks? How can you even know they’re present in the first place? You’ll need the skill of leak detection—and almost all the time this requires calling for a professional plumber in Portales, NM.
Knowing When You Have Leaks
You still need to have the suspicion of hidden leaks in your home before you can call a plumber to locate them. So in a way, you have to know a bit of the art of leak detection yourself.
There are signs to look for that can warn you about disguised plumbing leaks:
- The water usage on your monthly utility bills seems abnormally high. Compare your current bills to those from last year or later. A spike in usage you can’t explain often means there’s water escaping somewhere in the house.
- You see stains of discoloration on the walls or ceilings. Pay close attention to ceiling stains that are directly below an upstairs bathroom, since there is a large amount of plumbing under bathrooms.
- You can hear water running when there’s no visible source for it. If you hear this in your basement, it can mean a slab leak.
- The water heater runs at odd times, pointing toward leaks in the hot water lines. (Hot water line leaks are more common than cold water line leaks.)
- Warping along wooden floors.
Once you have a suspicion of leaks, do a test with the water meter for the house. Write down the number its showing, and then shut off all water-using appliances for an hour and don’t use any water in the house. If the water meter number increases—it’s time to get a plumber on the case.
Finally, we recommend homeowners have leak detection done as a regular precaution every five years, even if there are no outward signs of problems.
Plumbers and Leak Detection
The job of professional leak detection requires special equipment and the training to use it and interpret the results. Licensed plumbers will often be able to narrow down the location of leaks without any tools except their trained eyes. When they have an idea of where to start looking, the plumbers will bring in a number of devices to pinpoint the leak locations:
- Ground microphones and listening discs that can pick up on the sound of water escaping from pipes.
- Thermal scanners that can locate temperature changes at spots where water is leaking.
- Video pipe inspection equipment. This is the tool that can give the most exact reading on where leaks are happening because it puts a camera down into the pipe itself and sends back images to a monitor.
Our plumbers have the finest tools to ensure we find those leaks and then have them repaired—fast and accurately!