How Do You Find a Leak in a Water Pipe?

Does your water bill seem unusually high? Has it been creeping up the last few months a bit too rapidly?

Though many of us have glumly accepted rising utility prices as a fact of life, this might not be the problem. You may have a water leak and are paying for water that is being needlessly dumped out on the ground.

But, the pipes are (mostly) hidden. How do you find a leak in a water pipe? Let’s find out!

What Does Your Meter Say?

Your water meter can give you good information about your water leak status. The dials or numbers that you see on the face of it shouldn’t be moving or changing unless you are using water.

If you shut everything off in your home and those dials or numbers keep moving, there’s likely a leak somewhere in your system.

But how do you find it?

Water Leaks Outdoors

Do you have lucky green patches on your lawn? Or perhaps unexplained puddles or areas of soggy earth? Maybe your driveway is starting to sink a little or cracks are appearing.

These are all indications of wet dirt and the possibility of an underground water leak.

Water Leaks Indoors

Water leaks indoors can range from super easy to detect to almost impossible. If your laundry room floods, the toilet cistern runs constantly, or the kitchen faucet drips, the leak is easy to detect.

However, some leaks can go undetected for weeks or even months within the walls of your home. Unfortunately, all that leaking water doesn’t just disappear. It may be causing cosmetic and structural damage to your home.

Keep an eye out for wet spots in the carpeting and water stains or bubbling paint on the ceiling and walls. Moisture in dark places contributes to the rapid growth of mould, which is disastrous for your family’s health. If you notice an old, unpleasant smell in your home you may have a mould problem, which often means a plumbing problem.

Calling in the Pros

Some leaks will require a licenced plumber to clear the problem and get it fixed up. Remember, just because you’re handy with a hammer doesn’t mean you can properly repair a broken pipe. This is especially true if that broken pipe is underground, in a wall, or in another hard-to-reach location. It can be nearly impossible just to find it!

However, plumbers have a range of tools to help them pinpoint the leak’s location. The loss analysis technique measures the loss of volume and water pressure to trace leaks in large pipes.

Plumbers can also look for hot water leaks with thermal imaging or use a special microphone to listen for the hiss of escaping water.

Life without Leaks

We all hope that we never face a catastrophic burst water pipe. Knowing the telltale signs of smaller leaks is a perfect way to help avoid this. When you catch and repair small leaks early, they don’t have the chance to force the pipes open and cause more extensive damage to your home.


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