Plumbing Leak Detection: What You Should Know and How to Fix It

Plumbing Services St Kilda East

Wondering why your water bills are suddenly higher than normal? You could unknowingly have a leak. To protect your home and not waste money unnecessarily, plumbing leak detection is crucial.

Not sure where to begin? There are a few things you should know to diagnose the problem and then treat it. By learning the warning signs, you’ll know what to look out for and take action before danger & damage strikes.

How Do I Know If I Have a Plumbing Leak?

Suspect you have a plumbing leak? A Water Conservation Report shows that 129.5ML of daily water leakage was recorded in Sydney in 2017 and 2018. It’s frightening to think of the billions—or more—of litres of water that are wasted annually from leaking pipes. You don’t want to be an unsuspecting homeowner contributing to these increasing statistics.

To address the situation promptly—and save your cash plus preserve your home & its fixtures—look out for these signs of a plumbing leak:

  1. Unusually High Water Bills

Maybe you slowly see your water bills increasing a little. Or perhaps one month you’re surprised with a whopper of an amount to pay. If you’re concerned, it’s best to monitor your monthly water bill and compare trends & identify any changes or irregularities. This could help you determine a plumbing leak. 

  1. A Running Water Meter

If your water meter hasn’t stopped yet after switching off your water mains, and no appliances or bathrooms are in use, you might have a problem. 

  1. Wet Spots Inside or Outside

Seeing some wet spots under your sink or toilet? You could even see puddles or mud next to your house or on your lawn without it having rained. Watch out for mildew and mould to follow, & possibly structural damage to your house.

  1. Mildew and Mould on Surfaces

If you can see mildew and mould on your ceilings, floors & walls, particularly in your bathroom or kitchen, you should check this out. Even if this is around your bath tub’s outer area, this could be a tell-tale sign of a plumbing leak. 

  1. A Stale Odour in the Air

Smelling something stale? A musty odour could indicate mildew and mould inside your house’s walls. It’s best to even check under your floor and inside your vents, as stagnant water in either a wet spot or puddle forms underneath a leaking pipe. If you have properly ventilated the room and the odour persists, this is your sign.

  1. Spoiled and Discoloured Ceilings, Floors & Walls

Things looking a little yellow? As soon as you notice any abnormal spots on your ceiling, floor or wall, investigate further. There could be more occurring behind the scenes, and, worst case scenario, you could have a collapsed ceiling, bent wall or caved in floorboard on your hands. 

  1. Cracks in your House’s Foundations

While homes naturally settle over time and you see hairline cracks in your ceiling or walls, a leaking pipe can also weaken your house’s foundations. Keep an eye on these cracks. If they widen or become more pronounced, you could have a plumbing leak.

How Do I Fix a Plumbing Leak?

It’s possible to temporarily fix your plumbing leak, depending on the type of leak. First, turn off your water supply. If you have a joint leak problem, start by tightening the joint. For a pipe leak, a plumber will need to remove and replace the leaking section.

Most hardware stores sell plumbing leak patch kits. Short on time? Make your own using a piece of heavy rubber from an old tube inner with a C-clamp. Stop the leak in your pipe by momentarily patching it up with heavy rubber and hose clamps, or even a rubber pad & bolting two plates together. This should hold until the plumber arrives.

What’s Do I Do Next?

If you’ve tried to temporarily fix your leaking pipe but you’re still concerned, proceed by:

  • Switching off your water meter
  • Checking your water meter’s leak indicator
  • Taking a water meter reading and doing this again in an hour or two & note any change in water usage

Statistics have revealed that 150 million litres of water were lost in the 2015 and 2016 Australian financial year. This is why the Smart Water Meters project was proposed to save water through identifying early leaks and identifying water usage patterns. In addition to saving energy costs, less water is wasted, and a battery can last for up to 15 years. To avoid future plumbing leaks, installing a Smart Water Meter may be a worthwhile investment.

Ultimately it’s best to call in the professionals to save the day. For the help you need with water leak detection Melbourne experts are waiting to help you. Rather be safe than sorry, and call in a plumbing expert for a helping hand and to get to the root of the problem before it’s too late.