How to Detect and Find Slow Water Leaks, Including Underground Leaks

Do you have a creeping suspicion that your water bill is slightly higher than it should be? Or are you experiencing an unusual dampness in your walls? It could be possible that your home is affected by a slow leak. Slow water leaks can be challenging to detect but can cause significant damage to your home over time, so it’s vital to get onto them as soon as possible. This blog will discuss how to locate a slow leak (even if they are located underground) and what to do once you have found them.

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What are slow water leaks?

As the name alludes to, slow water leaks (or seepage) are small, slow and often unnoticed water leaks that occur over an extended period. Slow water leaks can occur in various parts of your plumbing system, such as pipes, joints, faucets, toilets or other fixtures. The causes of these hidden leaks vary; however, common causes include corrosion, damaged seals, excessive water pressure, or faulty installations.

Small leaks, like slow water leaks, pose a problem for your monthly water bills, as even a very small leak can lead to a significant loss in your water supply. On top of this, slow water leakage poses the problem of causing damage to your property over time and potentially causing health problems if the leak goes undiscovered and grows mould and mildew.

small water leak
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How to detect the signs of slow water leaks in your home

While it can be tricky to pick up on a slow water leak within your household, there are a few obvious signs to keep an eye out for that may point you in the right direction:

  • Unexplained increase in your water bill — if your water usage hasn’t changed, but you notice an increase in your water bill, it could indicate water damage like a slow water leak.
  • Your water meter continues moving after the water system is turned off. You can easily test this by turning off all faucets and appliances that use water in your home and making a note of the reading on your water meter. Then, don’t use water for 1-2 hours and recheck the meter. If the reading has changed, it points toward water leakage.
  • Mould or mildew growth — if you are experiencing mould or mildew growth on walls, ceilings or floors, especially around water pipes or plumbing fixtures, this could indicate a slow water leak.
  • Warped building material — materials exposed to water for a long time will often warp, so keep an eye on your walls and floors for any warping.
  • Damp smells — If a pipe is leaking within your property, your home will likely develop a faint damp smell.
  • Puddles or damp patches — if you suspect a slow leak, search around any water fixtures for accumulated water, this is a sign of a concealed leak.
  • Running water sounds — running water sounds when no appliances are running is another sign of a slow leak.
  • Visible water damage — check your walls and ceilings for signs of water damage.

Slow water leak in toilet bowl

A slow leak in your toilet bowl refers to a small and gradual leak of water from the tank to the bowl, which may not be immediately noticeable. The leak can be caused by several factors, such as a faulty flapper valve or a damaged flush valve, which can lead to a constant flow of water into the bowl even when the toilet is not in use. This type of leak can result in a significant waste of water over time and may also cause an increase in your water bills. It is important to address a slow leak in your toilet bowl promptly to prevent any further damage and conserve water.

If you detect signs of a slow leak, it’s a good idea to get it sorted as soon as possible to avoid high water bills, damage to your home’s structure and possible health issues in the future. Reaching out to a professional plumber can help you to get everything sealed up in no time.

How to find a water leak underground

Underground leaks can be particularly difficult to pick up on. You can look for some of the obvious signs per the slow leak suggestions above, like wet patches and checking the water meter. However, beyond that, it’s time to call in the experts. A professional plumber comes equipped with leak detection equipment specially designed to locate underground water leaks.

water leak detection

What to do if you discover a slow water leak

When discovering a slow water leak, it’s important to address the issue quickly. If you have not been able to identify the source of the leak, you will need to call a professional plumber to help locate the source.

If you have been able to find the source of the leak yourself, there are a few things you can do from there:

  • Access the severity of the leak — for basic leaks, it may be possible to fix the problem on your own. For example, a dripping faucet or loose connection.
  • Put in place a temporary repair — using plumbers’ tape or pipe clamps, you may be able to temporarily repair a leak until you are able to call in a professional to fix the problem.
  • Call in a professional — in most cases, with slow water leaks, you will need to call in a professional plumber to get your water system back to normal. Professional plumbers will be equipped with all the right tools to discover the root of the issue and fix your leaking system.

Preventative measures to avoid future slow water leaks

In order to avoid any future run-ins with slow water leaks, there are a few preventative measures you can take:

  • Regular inspections — plumbing is one of the areas in life that we don’t think about until we need to, often because of a problem occurring. However, with regular plumbing inspections, you can be proactive instead of reactive, and problems such as long term slow leaks can be minimised.
  • Maintain appliances — sometimes, water-using appliances like washing machines and dishwashers can cause leaks due to damaged or worn-down parts. Make sure to maintain all your appliances to avoid leaks.
  • Install water-leak detectors — these easy-to-use detectors can be placed in leak-prone areas to alert you quickly of any moisture before significant damage is done.
  • Replace old pipes — if you are living in an older building, it’s a good idea to replace old pipes if possible to minimise the risk of problems down the line.
  • Properly seal joints and connections — this can be looked over during an inspection but properly sealing joints and connections is essential for avoiding leaks.

Call in the water leak experts

In case you suspect a potential slow water leak at your home, rest assured that Proud Plumbing & Gas can assist you. Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team and schedule an appointment. With our expertise, we guarantee that your home will be promptly restored to its normal condition by effectively containing the leak issue. Trust us to handle the situation and get your home back in order in no time.

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