3 Subtle Signs You Have a Plumbing Leak

Could you have a damaging, wasteful and expensive plumbing leak in your home and not even know it? Absolutely. While major pipe ruptures that inundate the house with hundreds of gallons of water are hard to miss, more common silent leaks are far less obvious. However, not only can this subtle leakage inflict substantial water damage over the long run — including severe structural rot, foundation damage and growth of toxic mold — they can also be a red flag warning of an impending catastrophic pipe rupture. Here are three signs of less-than-obvious water leaks to look out for.

  1. shutterstock_127691294Unexplained damp or wet spots on walls, ceilings or floors. Because most water supply lines are routed out of sight through the home’s structure, small hidden leakage may eventually show itself as discoloration on walls or ceilings, peeling paint, warping or deterioration of drywall or darkened areas on concrete floors. Pinhole leaks in supply lines may only be the external sign of widespread internal corrosion and severe weakening of the pipe itself. A pinhole leak may turn into a total pipe rupture at any time.
  2. Persistent musty smells. These odors typically indicate mold growth. Since mold requires a moisture source to thrive, however, the presence of mold odors is often also a giveaway to silent water leakage, such as from a dripping pipe, leaky drain, or some other hidden plumbing issue.
  3. Water meter indications. In addition to standard dial-type readings, most current water meters also incorporate a flow indicator that registers even subtle amounts of water loss, such as from a hidden leak. Usually, it’s a red or blue triangle. Note the exact position of the triangle and turn off all sources of water in the home for at least an hour (make sure nobody flushes a toilet.) Check the triangle position again. If it has moved even a small amount, you may have an undiscovered leak somewhere. If you can’t find it yourself, contact a qualified plumber to track it down.

For more advice on detecting hidden plumbing leaks and remedying damage caused by them, contact the pros at Rytech, Inc.

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