Water leaking in your home is an incredibly common problem, and very costly if it is ignored.
Signs of a water leak can sometimes be very obvious. Maybe you’ve woken up to water in your kitchen floor because of a broken washing machine or dishwasher.
Or maybe a burst pipe in under the floorboards has caused a hole in your ceiling and a puddle of water on the floor below.
Other times, signs of a water leak can be very subtle. Especially if the leak is happening in a concealed area and slowly.
We’ll be taking you through some steps which hopefully will help you determine if your water is leaking slowly.
So if you’re concerned about water leaking slowly, read on!
How To Tell If Your Water Is Leaking Slowly: The Six Main Ways
Water leaking slowly over a long period of time can have devastating consequences for your home and your wallet.
We’ll now outline the six main ways to tell if you have a slow water leak. If you notice any of these signs happening in your property, we’d strongly recommend contacting a plumber for repairs.
Monitor Your Water Bill
If your water bill is steadily rising but haven’t changed your water habits, a leak could be the cause.
To determine if your water is leaking by monitoring your bill, it’s best to collect your water bills from the past few months and make comparisons.
If you notice a steady increase in usage when you make the comparisons, it’s probably time to consider calling a plumber.
Water bills don’t tend to go up or down significantly in a given time period. Unless there is a major change in occupants, like a new family member, your water bill should stay roughly the same.
It’s important to note that a number of your pipes will run underground. Even if the signs of a leak in these pipes might not be obvious, you will always pay for these issues.
Check Your Water Meter
This is one of the best ways to tell if you have a leaked in some part of your plumbing system.
Firstly, you’ll need to turn off all the water consuming appliances in your home.
Turn off all your faucets, and make sure your washing machine and dishwasher are not running.
Make a note of where the meter is before you start this process, and then watch the meter and see if it starts to change. If it moves relatively quickly, you’ve got a fast moving leak.
If your meter doesn’t change straight away, wait around two hours and recheck. If there is a change in the meter reading, even if it’s slight, you likely have a slow leak.
The issue is that the leak can be anywhere after the meter. Any pipes placed after the meter are the household’s responsibility.
Look At Your Global Usage
Global usage refers to your usage across a large period of time.
The EPA suggests checking winter water usage to check if a leak is happening in your home.
The average family of four uses around 12,000 gallons of water a month. If you notice that your water usage if significantly greater than this average, there is likely a serious leak.
Check Your Exterior Water Usage
Leaks can occur outside your home as well as inside your home.
If you have an irrigation system, it’s important to get a professional to check the system at least once a year.
An irrigation system with even a slight leak could be potentially wasting 6,300 gallons of water a month.
You can also check your outside spigots by connecting a garden hose and turning it on. If water seeps through while the hose is running it will be worth replacing the rubber gasket and making sure all connections are secure.
Check Your Toilet
Generally speaking, toilets account for around 30% of your total water usage.
Seeing as though they are water guzzlers, it’s worth checking yours to make sure it’s running properly.
The best way to do this is to add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet’s water tank.
Wait for around ten minutes then check the water in the toilet bowl, if it’s a similar color to the water in the tank, you have a leak.
This leak is allowing water to flow from the toilet’s tank to the drain without flushing it.
Use Your Common Sense
If you’re in doubt, when you’re doing regular household maintenance like cleaning, incorporate checks to the back of cabinets and under basins.
Signs of mold or bad smells can be a sign of a leak as stagnant water causes these issues.
You could also consider booking a professional plumber in to make an annual inspection of your pluming system.
If your home is on the older side (25 years+) you should be extra vigilant. Older houses tend to have older plumbing systems. Plumbing systems have to handle large amounts of water, so they do deteriorate over time.
Oxidation or discoloration of connections to things like water pumps, water heaters, and washing machines are both signs of a slow leak.
The damage from a slow leak will build up over time.
The important thing to ask yourself is will the leak get worse quickly and cause a lot of damage?
If the answer is yes, we’d advise contacting a plumber.
If the answer is no, it’s then worth considering where the leak is coming from. For example, if it’s isolated to a single appliance (i.e. washing machine or toilet) then consider turning off the water supply to that appliance to buy you some time to repair it.
It’s vitally important that you also turn off the electrical supply to the appliance/the part of the house with the leaking appliance.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful!