How to Find a Plumbing Leak

An Active Plumbing Leak in a Copper Pipe

Hunting for the Source

Have you ever stumbled upon a terrible plumbing leak inside your home? The rising moisture and potential water damage can be pretty overwhelming. However, it’s the hidden leaks that often cause the greatest damage in your home.

Today, we’ll explore the easiest ways to uncover and treat leaks within your home. After reading through, you should be well prepared in the event another leak pops up in the future. Let’s get started!

Isolating the Plumbing Leak

Before repairs can get underway, you’ll have to find the source of the water loss. If homeowners can figure out the cause behind the damage, they’ll be much better equipped to choose a lasting solution. Unfortunately, not all plumbing leaks are easy to spot. This can lead to some unpleasant surprises on your monthly water bill!

Here’s how you can begin your quest to discover that leaking pipe. Remember, fast repair makes all the difference between minor water loss and extensive restoration work. If you can’t locate the damaged plumbing in a timely manner, talk with a local plumber about arranging leak detection.

Cursory Search

Initial Search – Look and Listen

As you search for the leaking pipe or connection, you’ll need to use both your vision and hearing to spot it. Turn off all water appliances and take a walk through your home, listening carefully for the sound of running water. If you don’t find anything after checking each room, try taking a cursory look around outside too. Should the leak still evade detection, it’s time to conduct a more thorough, step-by-step elimination process.

Step by Step

The Process of Elimination

For this approach, you’ll need the water meter and a second person to help. If you shut off all the appliances and fixtures in your home and the meter still spins, you definitely have a leak. If you turn off the water supply to the main line and the meter stops, that confirms the leak is on your side of the meter.

Here is the step by step process to find the plumbing leak.

  • Step #1: Have your helper watch the meter dial as you systematically turn off each water valve.
  • Step #2: Confirm the leak is on your side of the meter by shutting off power and watching the dial.
  • Step #3: If you have a separate valve for the irrigation line, shut off the valve and see if the meter stops spinning.
  • Step #4: Test the hot water side of your plumbing by turning off the valve at your water heater.

As you turn off each valve, ask your partner if the meter dial continues to spin. If the meter stops when you turn off the valve, you confirm that the leak is located somewhere further down that line. Let’s say you get all the way to turning off the hot water side of your plumbing and the meter stops, you’ve confirmed the leak is located on that side.

Professional Work

What is Plumbing Leak Detection?

This is the process by which plumbers look for leaks in your home. How do plumbers check for leaks? They often begin with the process of elimination shown in “Step by Step”. Once the problem is isolated to the hot or cold line, finding it usually becomes fairly simple. For those leaks especially challenging to locate however, plumbers utilize special equipment that detects the presence of excess moisture.


How Much Does a Plumbing Leak Cost?

According to Homeadvisor, you can expect to pay an average of $150 to $350 for basic plumbing leak repairs. Leak detection may add another $100 to $200. If the damage is located in your main line however, that total could climb as high as $4000 for new piping. Don’t let these numbers scare you from getting a professional estimate however, which may be lower than the national average.

What Causes Leaking Pipes?

There are all kinds of hazards that may cause your pipes to break down, from long-term corrosion to rapid spikes in pressure. Pipes rarely fail overnight however, as most problems are caused by years of slow degradation. Below are some brief insights on the most common threats.

Internal Hazards

Can a Clogged Pipe Cause a Leak?

Severe blockage is the bane of many otherwise healthy pipes. As clogs grow denser, outward pressure builds until the pipe ruptures from the stress. So yes, clogs do cause leaks (eventually).

External Threats

What Causes Water Lines to Break?

Main water lines are built tough. That means that it requires a lot of physical force or decades of slow degradation to break them. Watch out for ground shifts, invasive tree roots, and old age as the primary causes of damage. Of course, misplaced digging could also rupture the line.

Temporary Fixes

How Do You Temporarily Fix a Leaky Pipe?

Try using either a sleeve clamp or a c-clamp to stop the leak while you wait for a professional. Check out this helpful guide on temporary patches!

Rusty Pipe Segments Examined After a Plumbing Leak

Call for Plumbing Leak Detection and Repair!

Need professional help for a stubborn plumbing leak in Mesquite, TX? Our team at James Armstrong Plumbing would love to help you. We provide cost-effective and long-term relief for homeowners throughout the local community. Call (214) 414-3705 and schedule your busted pipe repair today!