It's not good for a water leak to develop in your house, but if you can at least see the leak and are aware of it, the situation is much better than when the leak is hidden. A hidden water leak could go on for quite a while until you get a high water bill or notice mold growing up a wall.
Finding a leak isn't as easy as you might think. A plumber has a few tools they can use for water leak detection that can find a leak under the ground, under a slab, or behind a wall. Here's a quick look at how water leak detection is done.
Verify A Leak With The Water Meter
The first thing your plumber may want to do is verify a leak is present by doing a water meter test. This involves making sure all faucets are off and then watching the meter. If the meter moves, a leak is present. If the meter moves slowly, the leak is smaller than if the meter spins faster. This lets the plumber know there is indeed a leak and the size of it, but it doesn't help the plumber know where the leak is located.
Look For Signs Of A Leak
Next, the plumber may inspect your yard and house to look for signs of a water leak. If the leak is underground outdoors, the area above the leak might have greener grass or have standing water. Inside your house, the plumber might find mold, detect a musty odor, hear water running, or see a wet spot on the floor. These signs direct the plumber where to start investigating, but they don't pinpoint the leak.
Use Water Leak Detection Equipment
Your plumber might use an infrared camera or an acoustic listening device to find where a hidden leak is located. The listening device is more precise since it can lead the plumber to the exact spot of the leak. The infrared camera may not find the exact spot, but it picks up the wet area under the floor so the plumber knows where to start listening.
Another way to find a plumbing leak is with a pressure test. It's more work than using the other equipment, but it's sometimes necessary, especially for a drain leak that only leaks when water is going down a drain. This method works by filling the plumbing pipes or drains with water a section at a time. The sections are blocked off with inflatable balls that hold the water in place. If the water level drops, the plumber knows which section of the pipe has a leak. This test is also handy for old pipes that may have more than one leaky area.Share