How Do I Find a Water Leak in My Home?
Water leaks can seem relatively minor in the scheme of possible plumbing problems you can experience at your Northeast Ohio home.
The truth is, however, that even a small water leak can cause major damage if it goes undiscovered and isn’t promptly fixed. In fact, water leaks can cause mold growth, foundation damage, and other serious problems.
To help you avoid these complications—and the significant headaches and costs that can come with them—here’s what you need to know about finding and addressing home water leaks.
How Do I Know If I Have a Water Leak?
If you suspect you have water leaking in your Northeast Ohio home but you don’t know for sure, follow these steps to try and figure out if you’re dealing with a water leak:
- Stop using all water in your home: This includes turning off any water-dependent appliances, like dishwashers and washing machines.
- Find your water meter: If you don’t know where your water meter is, call your local water department (in the Akron, OH area, contact the Akron Water Department).
- Check the water meter’s leak indicator: The leak indicator is usually a small wheel or triangular dial. If the leak indicator is moving while no water is being used in your home, you likely have a water leak.
If your water meter doesn’t have a leak indicator, then stop using water in your home and:
- Check the meter once: Note the reading.
- Wait one to two hours: Don’t use any water during this period.
- Check the meter again: If the meter reading has changed, you likely have a water leak.
Where Is Water Leaking in My Home?
Once you’re confident you’re dealing with a water leak in your Northeast Ohio home, follow these steps to figure out if the leak is inside and/or outside your house:
- Shut off the water to your home via the main shutoff valve: Typically, the main valve is located in a garage, basement, or by an outdoor faucet.
- Check the water meter: If the dial or leak indicator continues to move after you’ve shut off water to your home, you have a water leak somewhere outside of your home. Some common places these outdoor water leaks can occur are in sprinkler systems and service lines, which run from water meters to shutoff valves. Alternatively, if the water meter does NOT continue to move after shutting off the main valve, the water leak is likely inside your home somewhere.
- Check your outdoor plumbing fixtures: If you’re dealing with an outdoor water leak, check your sprinkler system for broken tubing, damaged sprinkler heads, or other issues. Also, inspect any other outdoor plumbing fixtures you may have, like yard hydrants and outdoor faucets. While you may not see the exact site of the leak, especially if an underground pipe is leaking, this inspection may help you discover which fixture or system the leak is coming from.
- Look for signs of leaks in your home: If all signs point to an indoor water leak, start looking around your home for warning signs, like mildew smells, water damage, and mold. Look under sinks, behind cabinets, and around flooring by plumbing fixtures. Also, check your water pressure. You can even test for toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank and checking the bowl about 30 minutes later (if food coloring has changed the color of the water in the toilet bowl, you have a toilet leak).
What Should I Do Next?
Whether or not you’re sure of where water is leaking in your home, it’s always in your best interest to contact a local plumber for help. In the Northeast Ohio area, you can always count on the plumbers at Blind & Sons for fast service and first-class plumbing solutions.
We offer 24-hour emergency plumbing service so you can always get the help you need quickly, no matter when a plumbing disaster strikes!