Detecting a Household Plumbing Leak

In the past, you may not realize you had a leak under your home until something burst or fell through. Today, there is electronic leak detection possible for locating underground water leaks. This is especially helpful in finding those leaks that are under a cement slab or raised foundations.

Locating the Leak

Today, plumbers have sewer and drain cameras that assist them in finding leaks. A plumber will first try to detect there is a leak by listening for running water with all faucets turned off. They also will check if there is hot water coming out of a cold-water side of the faucets. They will check the hot water heater, too, making sure it re-ignites as quickly as it should.

A sure tell-tell sign is the water meter. If all the faucets are shut off and the meter needle is moving, that is a sure sign of a plumbing leak somewhere either in the house, under the house, or underground between the meter and the house.

Next – Determining the Leak Location

If the plumber has determined that the leak is inside the house, they will turn the water off to the house. If the leak isn’t substantial and the repair may take some time, the plumber will re-open the valves so that you may go about daily activities like bathing, laundering, washing dishes, etc.

The lead detection will be performed by disconnecting the affected pipes, which may also include those at the hot water heater, and then pressurize them with nitrogen. This type of gas creates a high-pitched sound which allows the plumber to hear leaks with a high-quality, sophisticated set of headphones. After they hear the highest decibel possible, this determines exactly where the leak is, and then repairs can be made, the water turned back on and life resumes!