A water leak can cost a lot of money to repair, or worse, cause permanent damage to your home. If you suspect a water leak you need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible and take care of it at its source. Here are the signs of a water leak and what to do once you find it.
Increases In Your Water Bill
Compare your water bill each month. Look at what the total is compared to last month, as well as what it was at this time last year. Significant differences could indicate a water leak somewhere on your property.
Meter is Running
Another sign of a water leak can be found at your water meter. Turn off all the water in your home, and go outside to look at your water meter. The dials should be still. If they are moving even slightly, you’ve got water leaking somewhere in your home. Keep searching until you find the source.
Water Heater Gives Clues
Inspect the area around your water heater. If the floor is stained orange, that could mean that water from inside the tank is leaking out. The orange color represents rust. Also check to see if there is a water stain line along the lower part of the wall near your water heater, or on the floor. Obviously, standing water under your tank is a clear indicator that the water heater is leaking.
If you detect a water heater leak, it needs be inspected by a professional. It’s likely that there is internal damage in the water heater and it may need to be replaced.
Plumbing Joint Leaks
Check underneath your kitchen sink. There is lots of plumbing under there that could be leaking. If you notice any kind of bubbled finish on the interior of the cabinet, that’s water damage from a leak. Place a shallow basin under the elbow joint and check it the next day to see if the leak is still active.
A toilet water leak can tack on a lot of extra water usage to your water bill over the course of a month. To find out if your toilet is leaking, try this trick:
Remove the tank cover behind the toilet. Add a dropper of red or blue food coloring. Open the toilet lid and check to see if the water has turned color. If it has, the flapper inside the tank isn’t making a watertight seal.
It’s fairly simple to replace a toilet flapper. Pick up a new one at any hardware store and follow the directions on the packaging. You won’t need anything more than common household tools to complete simple but satisfying chore.
A water leak in your home is more manageable the earlier you spot it and take care of it. Never delay taking care of a leak. It should always be your top priority until it’s fixed.