According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 10 percent of homes in the Unites States have undetected leaks that account for 90 gallons of wasted water per day. Leaks not only cause an increase in your monthly water bill, but they can also damage your home and cause undesired tree root growth in your yard. One of the best ways to detect possible plumbing leaks is to understand the most common situations that cause leaks to form.
Confirm A Leak
Before you begin testing appliances and checking pipes, use your water meter to ensure you are dealing with a leak. Turn off all water-reliant appliances and faucets, then monitor your water meter over the course of two hours. If your notice continuous water flow, you’re likely dealing with a leak.
Start With The Toilet
The toilet accounts for roughly 30 percent of your home’s water usage. If you notice a spike in your monthly water bill, begin to look for a leak in the bathroom. The toilet flap, or valve seal, is one of the most common reasons for a leaking toilet. It’s inexpensive to replace and can be done with a quick trip to the hardware store. If, however, the leaking water is emerging from the base of the toilet or the toilet is more than 10 years old, it may be time for a complete replacement. The Kohler WaterSense toilets come in a variety of shapes and sizes and offer the most energy-efficient flush available.
Water Heater Malfunction
Another common source of lost water comes from the water heater in your home. A traditional tank operates from a Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve that can be manipulated to increase or decrease water pressure. The water pressure in your home should hover near 80PSI. If it’s too high, a Pressure Reducing Valve might be needed. It’s best to have a professional plumber install the valve to ensure no part of the plumbing is damaged. Decreasing the water pressure in your home can help alleviate dripping faucets and extend the life of your plumbing and appliances.
If you find no issues with the pipes and appliances in your home, you may be dealing with a problem just beneath the surface of your lawn. It’s possible for underground plumbing pipes to develop leaks or complete breaks. Invasive tree roots, shifting soil, a natural disaster or ill-advised construction can all contribute to a leaking underground pipe. If you suspect this issue, call a local professional plumber immediately. They can perform a leak detection test and suggest viable repairs.
Pipes In The Walls
Another hidden space for possible pipe leaks is within your walls or beneath your floors. If you hear running water even when all appliances are turned off, you likely have a leak. Discoloration, warm spots or moist places can also point to leaks. Be aware of these signs within your home.
It’s important to understand how your plumbing system performs. When you recognize a change in the monthly bill or water activity in your home, begin to investigate. Enlist the help from a local professional plumber to prevent damage to your home and fix the leaks with a lasting solution.