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How to Find a Plumbing Leak

Plumbing leaks are not good. When ignored, they can lead to thousands of gallons of water lost and they can lead to costly damage. Some leaks are easy to locate, for example, if they’re under the bathroom sink or coming from your shower head, while others will take some detective work.

Do you see a strange wet spot on your ceiling? Is there a pool of water around your dishwasher? Or, is your flooring damp, cracked or warped in a certain spot? If you suspect a leak, your first priority is to find out where it’s coming from, and here are some places to start:

1. Check the appliances for leaks.
Check around the appliances that use water, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator and look for signs of moisture. If everything looks dry, you can turn to the water meter for clues. But to check the meter, everything will have to be off.

To begin, turn off all appliances, faucets and fixtures that use water. Now, mark where the needle is pointed on the meter. Leave everything off for at least 8 hours, and go back and check the meter to see if the needle moved.

A good time to do this is while you're out for the day. Once you get back, look, did the needle move? If the needle on the meter moved, you have a plumbing leak on your hands.

2. Look under the cabinets.
Grab a flashlight and check underneath all kitchen and bathroom cabinets for leaks. Shine the flashlight on the plumbing and look close for signs of a leaking pipe. Also, remove the cabinets of items and check for signs of moisture, mold and buckling, all which indicate a leak.

If you find a leak, tighten the fittings and wipe up the moisture. Once everything is all dry, turn the water back on and see if the leak continues. If the leak is in the supply line or valve, you’ll be able to see this once the supply is turned off and back on.

If the issue is a leak in the supply line, all you need to do is replace it. You can take the same approach with all other water-using fixtures as well.

3. Inspecting the floors.
If you haven’t found the leak, check the flooring around any of your water-using appliances. We’re talking about refrigerators, dishwashers, bathtubs, etc. If you notice any moist, cracked, spongy, or warped flooring, it could be the telltale sign of a leak.

If you live in a second story home, go downstairs and check the ceilings and walls in the rooms that are directly underneath a second-floor bathroom. Also, if you notice any stains, bubbling, or peeling wallpaper, this could be an indicator of a leak in the pipes.

If you suspect a leak, contact Excalibur Plumbing to get it taken care of right away!

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