How Do You Locate Water Pipe Leaks?


Quick Answer

Perform a water meter check, visually inspect all plumbing, perform a dye test, or use a detection meter to locate water pipe leaks. Interior wall or underground leaks can be difficult to locate, and the assistance of a professional service may be required.

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Full Answer

Turn off all of the faucets, fixtures and appliances in the house that use water, and mark the location of the indicator on your water meter. Leave all of the water use items in the house off for at least eight hours. Check the meter again after that time, and if it has moved, there is a water leak inside of the house.

When a water leak is confirmed you must give the house a thorough inspection. Some water leaks may be obvious by damp or wet spots on the ceiling, the wall or floor. Use a flashlight to look underneath all of the bathroom and the kitchen sinks for any drips or wet pipes. Find and examine all other visible plumbing such as pipes and connections in the basement or crawlspace.

If no leaks are visible, test the toilets with dye or food coloring. Put a couple of teaspoons of coloring in the tank on the back of the toilet. If the flapper valve is leaking, colored water is apparent in the bowl within about 15 minutes.

For very hard-to-find leaks, a detection meter is available that lets users listen for drips through the walls. Depending on the user's technical abilities, this may require a repair specialist.

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