A water leak can be the ultimate nightmare. Especially when you are not sure where the leak is coming from. However, the good news is that there are signs to look out for and repairs are possible.
Finding the Water Leak
The best way to determine if you have a water leak is by checking your water meter. Water meters are used to measure the flow of water from a source. There are different types of water meters, but they all help keep track of the water supply to ultimately prevent waste.
When checking your water meter there are a few things to look for. One, learn how to read your water meter. If it’s an analog display, the large sweep hand on the dial measures water use in gallons or cubic feet. If the large sweep hand is moving, you have a continuous leak. Please note that the movement might be small and hard to detect if a tiny leak is present. If that is the case, record the numbers every 20 minutes. This will give you a good indication as to what type of leak you will be dealing with.
A digital display needs light for activation. Observe the flow rate screen for 10 flashes. You will know if you have a continuous leak if the number is greater than zero on any of the flashes. Both an analog display and digital display will help you determine the source of the water leak.
For any roof leaks, it is important to head straight to the source. The attic is a safe bet to start as you will be closest to the roof. Some important things to look for would be dark stains, broken shingles, and water drips. Remember to step on secure framing if a leak is present.
Another safe bet when finding the source of the water leak would be to check the plumbing. Plumbing leaks can cause major damage when undetected as water can seep into the subfloor which can ultimately cause rotting. Some major signs of a water leak would be curling of the vinyl floor or loose tiles in the tub, mold spots on the wall near the shower, and water stains on the ceiling or beams below. A great way to determine the source of the leak would be to check for gaps in the caulk where the tub meets the floor. Also, splash water around the door and door frame of your bathtub. You will know if you have a leak within five minutes.
Determining if you have a Leaking toilet is important to note as it can waste many gallons of water. To find the source of a leaking toilet, remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in the back of the toilet tank. If after 30 minutes the color has not come through the toilet bowl, there is not leak. Please note that it is important to check the toilet bowl prior to flushing.
Determining whether the leak is an emergency vs. non emergency is another very important factor. Emergency leaks result in an immediate response for repairs. If the leak is related to a broken toilet or sink, you might just be able to turn off your water valve and wait a day before repairing. However, if temperatures come into play and it’s cold enough for pipes to freeze over, it might be a good idea to call in an emergency repair.