Water Leak Detection – How to Prevent Damage To Your Home

Apr 2, 2014 by

It’s easy to overlook small water leaks, especially when you’re not looking for them in the first place. The most common water issues that homeowners face fall under general plumbing problems, such as frozen pipes, a clogged or overflowing toilet, and washing machine failure. Oftentimes, these are sudden water situations that require a professional clean up crew and a call to your insurance company.

However, there are also those water situations that slowly occur over time, such as an old shower head that sprays the walls above the tile. After a few hundred showers, there is bound to be damage to the wall. Keeping an eye on things such as this is key for the detection of leakages, the earlier you notice it the better.

The best way to prevent water damage in the home is through regular maintenance and inspection of bathrooms, kitchens, washing rooms and anywhere you may use it or drinking or cleaning, both inside and outside the home.

If you think you may have a water leak somewhere in your house or apartment, read on for some helpful tips to detect compromises in your system and help keep your place free from water damage.

How to Detect Leaks

detect leaks by reading meterA leakage can not only cause severe destruction to a home and its structure, but it will also cost you money. If you see your water bill has gone up when it shouldn’t have, you may have a fault somewhere in your plumbing system. You must be proactive at this point, rather than assuming you have just used your shower more the previous month.

The simplest way to find out if you have a breach in your system  is to check the meter. First, make sure no taps are turned on or any other supply is being used inside or outside the house. Next, locate the “leak indicator” on your meter. Look for the red or silver triangle. If it’s spinning, you have a problem. In devices without a leak indicator, the meter’s hand dial will move if there is an aperture. To detect slow leaks, note the position of the meter’s hand, wait 15 minutes, and if the hand has moved, you most likely have a slow leak somewhere.

Once you have established that there is an escape in your plumbing somewhere, you’ll have to shut of the property’s water supply using the main valve to determine if the leak is inside or outside the house. After you have shut it off, check the meter again. If it has stopped moving, your leak is inside the house. However, if the meter is still moving then you have a leak outside the house.

There is also advance equipment  you can purchase that will sound an alarm when in direct contact with liquid, if these are placed in strategically good positions they can be of great assistance in preventing damage and lowering what it will cost to fix it.

a dripping tap, prevent damageWhat’s leaking?


Usually an easy fix; faucets most often falter because of an old rubber washer that needs to be replaced. But don’t underestimate the amount of money that the average homeowner wastes by not regularly replacing old, worn washers.


To check and see if the toilet has a leakage, drop a bit of food coloring under the back lid. After thirty minutes, check to see if any of the dye has made its way into the bowl. If the liquid is clear – no leak. If there is dye in the bowl, then you may need to replace the flapper, another easy fix.


Other, more serious issues, such as wastewater leaks, are often spotted because of the damage they leave behind. Discoloration on your walls, floors, and ceilings are often an indication that you have a wastewater leak. If this is happening to you call in a professional as soon as possible.


If you know there is leaking outside, check the area by looking for evidence, such as puddles, to determine the source of the offending h2o. The liquid could be from an underground pipe or a faulty irrigation system.

At some point, most homeowners face a water problem. The detection of leaks is something to take seriously, but even with diligent, consistent maintenance and preventative measures, accidents happen. However, the chances of suffering water damage decreases significantly by paying careful attention to source areas in your home (the previously mentioned places like the toilet and shower) and checking the meter every now and then. Maintaining a good plumbing system is also critical so if it’s suspected that there is a fault somewhere, it’s important to react sooner rather than later.

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