Knowing how to detect leaks in your home is an important skill for new homeowners. Gas and plumbing leaks can cause health problems and damage your property if not addressed quickly. Drippy faucets and leaky showerheads are easy to notice but what about a leaking pipe in your wall or a slab leak beneath your foundation?
Now that you’re responsible for the plumbing and fixtures in your home, Benjamin Franklin wants to help you take the best possible care of them. Follow our leak detection guide to protect your home against harmful water and gas leaks.
Signs You Have a Household Water Leak
There are many reasons you might develop a water leak. Common places for leaks to occur are faucets, toilets, washing machines and water heaters. Besides the tell-tale dripping sound that can drive you crazy quickly, there are other signs to look for when locating a household leak:
- Water stains on wall or ceiling
- Warped wood
- Musty odor
- Mold or mildew
- Peeling or bubbling paint
- Low water pressure
- Increased water bill
Most of the items on this list are easy to notice but people don’t always connect them to water leaks. If you do experience any of the above, contact a certified plumber to identify the source of the leak as soon as possible. It’s critical to get reliable pipe leak repair before serious damage occurs. Pipes leak due to age, corrosion and clogs. A certified plumber can identify the source of your problem and make the necessary repairs.
New homeowners may not realize that changes in your monthly Dallas water bill could indicate a leak. If you have a slab leak or leak beneath your foundation, water that you are paying for is seeping out into your yard.
The Water Meter Test
Tracking your household water use on your home’s water meter can help you determine if you have a leak. For accuracy, turn off any devices that use water, including automated sprinkler systems, drip irrigation systems, and refrigerators with ice makers. If the settings on the meter move after an hour or two with no water usage, it’s likely that a leak is to blame.
Sewer Line Leaks for New Homeowners
All the water that goes down your home’s drains exits your home via your sewer line. This pipe runs from your home to the street and requires regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure it works properly. By accessing the clean out valve in your basement, a professional can run a plumber’s snake down your line to clear out any clogs and remove harmful tree roots.
If your plumber detects any issues with your sewer line, they can perform a camera inspection to look at your underground pipes. Using a small camera, they can examine the condition of your pipes from the inside and determine if they need to be repaired or replaced. Luckily for new homeowners, this process can save you the cost and headache of digging up your front lawn and replacing your entire sewer line. Talk to your plumber about the options for sewer line leak repair.
How to Detect a Gas Leak in Home
Gas leaks can be scary. The best way to recognize a natural gas leak is by the acrid sulfur smell. Natural gas on its own is odorless but the utility company adds a second compound that creates this smell.
Often a gas leak is no more than a stove pilot that’s gone out. If you detect a mild gas smell in your kitchen, open the windows and check your pilot lights. Once the smell has dissipated, relight your pilots.
To identify a gas leak elsewhere, use the soap test. Spray a solution of dish soap and water on any pipes where you suspect gas is leaking. The soap will bubble from the leaking gas beneath.
IMPORTANT: Don’t attempt to repair gas leaks yourself. Ventilate your home and call a gas leak plumber from outside your home. Don’t flip light switches or use electronics that might spark a gas explosion. If you know where your main gas shut off is, turn off your gas supply until professionals arrive.
How to Repair a Leaky Faucet
One of the most common home repairs is the leaky faucet. If your kitchen sink, bathroom sink or bathtub faucet is leaking, you may simply need to replace old and worn-out washers, O-rings, cylinders or cartridges depending on the type of sink you have.
Always remember to turn off your water supply before disassembling your faucet. To shut off your water, turn the valve handle that connects your water line to the faucet clockwise. There is one handle for cold water and one for hot. They can normally be found beneath the sink, mounted to the wall.
Look up the make and model of your faucet to determine what parts you’ll need to replace. There are many helpful tutorials online if you don’t have the manual to your faucet.
Remove the decorative plate on the faucet handle and unscrew the screw within. You should now have access to the parts you need to replace to stop your faucet from leaking. For compression type sinks, replace the O-rings and washers within. With a ceramic cylinder type faucet, pull out and replace the old cylinder. For cartridge type faucets, replace the old cartridge with the same model. There are multiple tutorials online to help with each type.
Assemble your faucet and turn the water supply back on. If you continue to experience leaking, you may need to replace the faucet or address a bigger plumbing issue. A punctual plumber from Benjamin Franklin can help.
Expert Leak Detection and Repair for Dallas Homes
Don’t take chances with leaks in your new Dallas home. Call or contact Benjamin Franklin for expert help with all types of leaks. We want everything in your new home to be air tight and in good working condition.