Comfort is on the Horizon

How to find a water leak in your home


When it comes to home ownership plumbing is an important but easy part to overlook. Out of sight and out of mind, because you don’t see your pipes every day you tend not to notice them until something breaks. However, damage doesn’t always lead to noticeable problems. A slow leak can be just as damaging and just because it takes longer to be noticed doesn’t make it less harmful.

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Plumbing leaks mainly cause two types of damage. First, they increase your monthly bill. Because water is metered a slow and persistent leak can add up over time. Leaks cause water that you are paying for, to be lost. The second problem they can cause is that a leak can damage your home. The slow buildup of moisture in the hot and humid weather of Jacksonville, FL causes wood to mold and rot. Aside from possibly having to replace your floor you could end up with structural damage to your house. Damage like that is not only costly to fix but very time consuming.

However, it can be hard to locate a leak. So for that reason it is important to have a professional plumber do routine maintenance on your home to detect leaks and damage to your pipes. The following items are things that will be checked over by a skilled professional.

Hot Water Tanks   

These types of tanks often have a pressure relief valve on them. Because pressure valves have a lot of parts involved in their construction there are more chances for them to leak. Many of them are connected directly to a drainage pipe. Because of this they can be leaking and have these go unnoticed very easily.


A skilled professional will check the toilet for leaking. One test to detect leaks involves removing the top from the tank and listening for and leaking. Leaking a normally quiet toilet will produce a hissing sound. There are a few tricks of the trade and if the plumber is having difficulties locating the leak they may use coloring agents to make it stand out. At this point repair of the pipes on the toilet or of the tank itself may be required.

The Meter Line 

The meter line is an obvious point of failure and a professional will always be sure to check it if it shows any sign of leakage. Most homes have a shut off valve near the residence but location can vary depending on design. Once the water is shut off a quick read of the meter will show it has stopped recording any water flow. A leaking mainline will leave signs in the yard area. Mud, sink holes, and thicker patches of grass could be signs of a meter line leak.

Hose Bibs

A hose bib is the valve you connect an outside hose to. You’re probably familiar with them and have used them before but a lot of people don’t know the technical term for where they hook up the garden hose. Most homes have them along the back or front. They can be prone to leaking and do need to be checked by a professional plumber for regular maintenance. They also offer another use for repair. They can be used to trace a leak. A plumber will check the valve for leaking and listen to any odd sounds. By checking each hose bib a leak can be isolated based on the sounds emitted by the valve.

Random Leaks

Several different items around your home can leak and cause problems of their own. Outside the home leaks can originate with garden hoses, drip irrigation systems, and outside faucets. Not surprisingly your home bathroom can have leaks aside from the toilets. Things such as faucets and shower heads can be a compounding problem when it comes to leaks. Also if you have a swimming pool it requires upkeep and maintenance as well.

When You Need Help

You should never attempt any repairs you don’t know how to do or feel uncomfortable doing. Leaks are a plumbing issue best left to professionals like any other plumbing issue. Having a professional get it right the first time can save money and aggravation.