Leaks rank among the most common problems plumbers get summoned to solve, and while plumbing pipes are designed to last for decades, time and wear can take their toll on every system. Hard water is a problem in our neck of the woods, which can be harmful to pipes over time, and leaks can be very hard to predict.
Even worse, that can often arise in parts of the home where you can’t readily spot them. Everyone knows there’s trouble when water is slowly spreading across the kitchen floor, but what about leaks that take place behind the walls or in crawlspaces where they’re hidden from sight? They can go on for weeks or even months in some cases, and cause an inordinate amount of damage to surrounding materials like drywall.
The sooner you can spot the signs of such a leak, the better. It allows you to shut off the water and contain the damage, then call in a plumber to get the leak resolved. (If you can’t readily stop the leak, use the main water valve to turn off water to the entire house. Every family should know where it is and how to use it.) The longer it takes for you to spot such signs, the more damage it will do to your home.
Signs of a Leak
So what kinds of signs should you look for? They can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sounds. Leaks can create dripping sounds or the sounds of running water in parts of the home where there is no ready source.
- Soft spots. Drywall affected by a leak can feel soft and yield to the touch, as can a number of other materials when the water saturates them.
- Warm spots or cold spots, which can be caused by hot or cold water leaking from a location around the spot.
- Mold growth. Leaking water can foster the growth of mold and bacteria in places where you haven’t seem mold growing in the past.
- Higher bills. An unexpected spike in your monthly water bill can absolutely be a sign of a leaking pipe, especially if you haven’t used your system any more often than normal.
- A meter spike. One of the easiest ways to determine if you have a leak is to check the reading on your meter, then go 30-60 minutes without running any water in the home (perhaps stepping out to run an errand and leaving an empty household behind you). A higher meter reading at the end of that time period means you likely have a leak somewhere in the system.
- Lower water pressure. If the water flows out of affected outlets more slowly than it might otherwise, a leak might be pulling water away from the outlet. Multiple affected outlets mean that the leak is probably located closer to the main water line.
If you have a leak and you need a plumber here in Plano, TX, call on the friendly professionals at Hutchins Plumbing & Air Conditioning today!