There are many signs to indicate a possible water leak. Unfortunately, not all the signs are visible. Frequently, the actual location of a damaged water line is elusive. Also called a mystery leak, it’s not so easy finding where it is coming from. In fact, it’s like putting together a puzzle.
Signs of a Mystery Leak
Visual signs of water can make it easier to spot a leak in your home. Before you go insane looking for a damaged line, check all of your plumbing appliances. A dripping faucet or running toilet is easy to see with the observant eye.
There are also other signs that are not so easy to spot. You could hear running water without having any plumbing appliances running. You could have no appliances or fixtures on in your home while your water meter is spinning like crazy. These create the mystery by letting you know you have a problem but not showing where it is coming from.
Perform a Meter Test
It is always best to narrow down the general area of your leak. Performing a meter test can help you determine if it is inside or outside the building. This involves checking the meter to see if it is spinning while the water shut-off valve to your house is on and off. If the meter spins when the valve is turned off for the house, your problem is outside. If the meter spins when the valve to the house if turned on but doesn’t spin when the valve is turned off, your problem is inside.
The difficulty in locating an outside leak is due to your lines being buried beneath a few feet of soil. You still might be able to spot some visual clues. These could be damp spots on the ground or an unusual area of vegetation. Or you could have an area where tree roots have grown around your water line. Visual clues outside are a good indication of where to dig to locate a cracked or broken line.
If it’s inside, it could be behind a wall or underneath your concrete slab. By closing the water shut-off valves at various locations throughout the house and checking to see if that stops your meter spinning, you could identify a general location of the mystery leak. Once you narrow down a general location in your house, you can then look for visual clues such as water stains or pooling water. And double check your plumbing fixtures. You might have missed seeing a dripping faucet or a running toilet.
Line Leak Detection
Even if you see signs of water stains on the wall or running water on the floor, there is more to the mystery. Water will travel along the path of least resistance. What you are seeing is where the water appeared.
At High Priority Plumbing, we don’t suggest immediately cutting into a wall with a wet spot or opening up a hole in your floor when you see water pooling. That visual clue is only a piece of the puzzle.
Unless you can see the point in the water line that is cracked or broken, your next step is to figure out how the water got there.
At this point your plumber can use line leak detection equipment to pinpoint the actual location of your cracked or broken water line. You might be surprised to find that your water line is damaged several feet from a visual clue. By using detection equipment, you could save time and money compared to tearing up your home or yard trying to solve your mystery.
High Priority Plumbing has the line leak detection equipment to help crack the puzzle of a mystery leak. Our expert plumbers are available 24/7 when you need water line repairs and other plumbing problems. Call us at 770.860.8110 in Atlanta or 912.373.7707 in Savannah.