What You Should Know Before Investigating For A Plumbing Leak

If you believe that you have a leaking pipe in your home, then you may have a more difficult time finding the leak than you may initially think. And in your search, there are a few things you need to be aware of so you can not only figure out where the water is going, but also how to resolve the issue once it is found.

Condensation Is Not The Same Thing As A Leak

It only makes sense that you will look for droplets of water that sit across the outsides of the pipes when you are investigating a leak. However, water does not always signify a leak. In fact, you are likely to see a great deal of condensation on the cold water pipes in your basement. This is especially true during the warm weather months. This condensation, which looks like small drops of water, is present when warm, humid air comes into contact with cool metal. In this situation, the pipes are said to be sweating.

Lightly touch the pipes to see if they are cool to the touch. If they are, then they are sweating. If they are warm or hot, then you may have found a pipe with a small pinhole leak.

Pinholes leaks can be detected by placing a small amount of soap on the pipe. Look to see if bubbles appear in the soap or if water begins to appear almost immediately after you wipe the pipe clean.

Also, to better determine the difference between condensation and leaks, place a dehumidifier in your basement. This will remove most of the water from the air and prevent condensation from forming, making it easier to see water where it is actually leaking.

Leaks May Be Present In The Walls

If you notice your water meter ticking upward or if you hear water running in your home, but water is not running, then these are clear signs that you probably have a leak. And you can sometimes trace the leak to your basement and to one of the exposed pipes. However, what happens if you simply do not see any water? Well, you need to start looking elsewhere. 

Leaks within the walls of the home are quite common, so start investigating your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room spaces. You want to use your hand to feel all of the internal walls of these rooms. If one area feels colder or more damp than the others, then this may be where your leak is located. 

Peeling paint, curled wallpaper, and condensation on the wall itself are all signs of a hidden leak. And, since the leak may sit behind the wall, it is wise to hire a plumbing professional who can investigate without creating a huge hole in your home.