If you suspect a plumbing leak in your home, don't wait for it to get worse. Target the problem with these DIY tips and save yourself time and money by identifying the issue before calling in the professionals.
Water leaks on your home can cost you a bundle. However, how do you know you have one? Below are a few simple steps to help you identify a leak and target the issue before it gets out of control.
1. Toilet Check: Make sure your toilet is not leaking by removing the top of the tank and listening closely. If you hear any hissing. do your best to locate where the hissing is coming from. Determine whether or not the origin of the hiss is in a reachable area and whether you have the tools to fix it. For assistance, consult your trusted plumber.
If you don’t hear any hissing, add a couple drops of food coloring to the tank, not the bowl, and wait several moments. If there is any coloring in the bowl, there is a leak in the flapper at the bottom of the tank. A leak here allows water to seep through and should be repaired as soon as possible. If you suspect a leak, be sure to run this test on each toilet in your home.
2. Check your meter line: In many cases, your home will have a metered water line, which means that the amount of water rushing through the line is monitored for billing purposes. Want to save money immediately? Identify a meter leak yourself by checking the meter line running from the meter to your house. If you have a shut-off valve near the house, shut it off temporarily and remove the lid. Watch the dial at the top of the meter. Meter heads may be covered by dirt or grass, so dig around and turn off the valve near the house. If the meter is still turning, the leak is located between the meter and your home.
Signs of a meter leak should be easy to spot, since areas of your lawn exposed to sudden pooling of water will either show a puddle where there had been solid ground or will grow greener and faster than the rest of your yard. If you notice any of the above, call a plumber to assess whether you can repair this issue yourself or whether it requires assistance.
3. Hose-bib check: Hose bibs are pipes that you hook hoses into. Most residences have at least two hose bibs, one in the front and one in the back. Find each one and listen for sounds of hissing, a sure sign that a leak is present..
Once found, use a screwdriver, particularly a long one so that you have room to maneuver, and put the metal tip directly on the metal part of the hose bib. Apply your thumb knuckle to the top of the screwdriver and then place your knuckle beside your head and in front of your ear. In this way, sound will travel directly to your eardrum and you can listen for telltale hissing.
Identifying a leak yourself prior to calling a plumber for repair assistance can save you time and money. By trying these simple steps, you go a long way to identifying where your leaks lie and getting them fixed promptly.
Author: Chelsea Terris