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How To Detect Hidden Water Leaks - What You Need To Know

3 Signs You May Have a Hidden Leak In Your Water Lines

Nearly every homeowner will likely have to deal with a water leak at some point, especially if their home was built more than a few decades ago. Whether it’s a faucet that won’t stop dripping or a pipe in the crawlspace that bursts one cold winter night, plumbing leaks are surprisingly common (not to mention frustrating).

But much more common and insidious are the water leaks that go unnoticed for months. A leaking pipe in the wall or underground can waste hundreds of gallons of water every year and lead to erosion, mold growth, rotten wood, or a sinking or cracked foundation. Fortunately, knowing what to look and listen for can mean catching a hidden leak before it does serious damage. Keep reading for three common indicators of a hidden water leak.


Unexplained Running Water Sounds

A home’s plumbing system can get a little noisy - valves open and close, water rushes through pipes to various fixtures, and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines do their thing. But when appliances are off, and everyone is in bed, the plumbing should generally be quiet as a mouse. 

The constant sound of rushing, hissing, or running water coming from the walls or floors could indicate a water leak. The water in a home’s supply lines is under a lot of pressure, so if it has an opening (such as a damaged pipe or loose joint), it will go through it as quickly as it can, and the water main will keep on supplying more water, resulting in that running water sound. 

Sounds can alert homeowners to the presence of a leak. Still, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the leak without the right instruments, so homeowners who notice this sign should call a leak detection professional.

Swampy or Wet Spots In the Yard

yard If there’s an area of the yard that never seems to get dry no matter what the weather or the sprinkler system is doing, there’s usually an underground water leak. Soil is porous, which allows water to drain down through it and into the water table below. But if an underground leak is constantly releasing water, the soil will become saturated, and the water won’t be able to drain away as quickly as it normally would.

This can result in a soft, soggy, muddy, or marshy patch of yard. The area may become slightly flooded, especially in the case of more serious leaks. In many cases, the excess water from an underground pipe leak may not cause the area to get soggy but instead may cause grass or weeds to grow longer or faster. This means homeowners should also look for clumps or patches of especially green or thick vegetation.

Unusually High Bills and Unusually Low Water Pressure

A hidden water leak can also be detected by the impact it has on the home’s water pressure and usage metrics. As water escapes through a leak, it takes some of the pipe’s pressure with it, reducing water pressure to faucets and other fixtures. A slow leak will create a modest loss in pressure, while a broken water line will cause a more severe pressure loss. Depending on where the leak is, it may affect hot water, cold water, a single room, or the entire house.

Of course, low water pressure has many other possible causes, so a leak is just one potential explanation. That’s why it’s good to check the latest utility bill for any unexplained increases in water usage because even a slow leak can significantly impact the water bill over a month. If the household water usage hasn’t changed, but the monthly costs have, it’s probably time to call a plumber for water leak repair - especially if the home is also suffering from lower water pressure.

About Lambert Plumbing & Heating, Ltd

Since 1977, Lambert Plumbing & Heating, Ltd has provided the residents of Vancouver, BC, with award-winning service. Their licensed, bonded, and insured technicians always show up on time, provide upfront pricing, and clean up after themselves. They offer 24/7 emergency service, financing options, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Vancouver, BC.