How Do Plumbers Detect Hidden Leaks?

a leak in a moldy ceiling

How Do Plumbers Detect Hidden Leaks?

The unknown and unseen are what worry homeowners the most, especially when it comes to issues such as plumbing leaks. Leak detection needs to be done immediately when you suspect you have one, and repairs should be done immediately afterward to prevent much more serious problems from arising. 

Why are plumbing leak detections so important?

Let’s admit it: the subject of plumbing is boring, but when there is a leak, detection can save you a lot of problems, such as the following:

1. Increased Water Bills

As the leak continues, your water bill increases. It may start as a small leak, but that leak can grow, and as it does, more water is wasted. Even if it is only $10 a month more, that adds up to $120 over a year. There are also problems such as damage to appliances, the foundation of your home, and the structure of your home to consider. The sooner you have professional leak detection services performed and repairs made, the sooner you’ll start saving on the water bill! 

2. Water Safety

Depending on where the leak is located, a plumbing leak can contaminate the water coming into your home. This can put your family’s health in danger, especially if the leak detection finds it is from the sewer lines. This makes it easy to see why plumbing leak repair is so necessary!

3. Exterior and Interior Damage

As mentioned above, a plumbing leak can damage your home in several ways, from the appliances to the ceiling, walls, and foundation, depending on where the leak is coming from. Getting leak detection is essential before the leak gets more extensive and causes more damage, leading to even more costs.

4. Procrastination Costs

As stated above, a small leak can get more significant the longer it is ignored. If you suspect you have a leak, detection by a professional plumber should be sought immediately. Putting off the expense of a plumber will only cost you more in the long run. 

Can you DIY leak detection?

While it won’t be as exact as a professional plumber’s leak detection process, your water meter is your best tool. Turn off all the water inside and outside the house, then take a reading from the water meter. Wait an hour and get another reading. If it increases, you have a water leak and should call a plumber immediately. 

 How does a plumber perform leak detection? 

The first thing a plumber will do before doing any leak detection is walk around the exterior of your home. They will inspect the interior and under the cabinets to look for obvious signs of leaks. Next, they will perform the water meter leak detection method described above. 

Next, they will likely use the following leak-detection equipment: 

  • Video Equipment: Video pipe inspection will give the plumber the most precise location of any leak. This process involves a small camera mounted on a long, flexible fiber optic cable. This is inserted into the faucets and any plumbing outlets. The camera sends pictures to a monitor, and the plumber can see the interior of the pipes. 
  • Listening Disc: A listening disc and ground microphone are essential equipment for a plumber performing leak detection. This equipment lets a plumber locate any water leak through cabinetry, drywall, and other obstacles by amplifying sound. 
  • Ground Probe: If a leak is suspected from the sewer line or waste main, an experienced plumber will likely use a ground probe. This method can detect leaks underground without damaging the lawn.  
  • Thermal Imaging: Thermal imaging is a leak detection process that uses cameras or heat scanners when the plumbing leak is located in the hot water plumbing. Thermography identifies areas of warm moisture under flooring or in the walls. 

How much does a professional leak detection service cost?

Every plumber’s rate for leak detection service will vary. Some factors include the method they use, the difficulty of reaching the location, and the time it takes. Leak detection services can cost up to $1,000 or more in DFW. 

What are the signs of a slab leak?

Knowing the signs of a slab leak can help you identify when there are clear signs of a leak underneath your home’s foundation. There are five ways you can tell if you have a slab leak: 

  • Increases in the water bill
  • Hot spots on the flooring
  • Standing water in the yard and around the foundation
  • Cracks in the ceiling and walls
  • Sounds of running water when no water is turned on

Watering It Down

If you suspect a leak in your home, you should focus on getting leak detection and having the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. Remember that the longer you let a leak go, the more damage it causes and the more it will cost you. If you need leak detection in Dallas, TX, or any surrounding areas, our team can help. Call us at (214) 402-5454 today.