The Dreaded Leak
One thing to get a handle on before it gets too bad is any type of water leak you have in your house. There’s nothing worse than moving something and seeing the large wet spot on the wall, or going into a room and standing in a puddle of water on the floor. Here are some ways that you can monitor the water in your house.
Keep an eye on your water usage through your water meter. You can check for large changes in the numbers from month to month. You can review your bill and look at historical water usage. One way to determine that you have a leak is to have the water meter go up while the water usage stays the same. If the water meter appears to be off, have someone from the water company that reads the meter check it first to make sure that your meter is working properly.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
When there is a water leak, there is sometimes a sound that accompanies it. Depending on the type of sound you can determine what type of leak you have.
Whoosh/Hiss – Leak in a pipe with 30 psi+ water pressure
Splashing/Babbling Brook – water is moving around the outside of the pipe
Beating/Thumping – water spraying from the pipe and possibly hitting a wall
Clicking/Clunking – Rocks or some materials bouncing off the pipes
The volume and speed of the sound will depend on the amount of leak that is present. Additionally, more than one sound could be heard based upon the location of the leak. Another factor is the material the pipes are made of, and the general thickness of the pipes.
An obvious sign of a water leak is seeing the actual water accumulating either on the floor, flowing down the hall or wall, or seeing water damage on the wall or ceiling. No one wants to wake up and see that the bathroom pipes leaked all night and caused the kitchen ceiling to fall all over the kitchen by morning.
By keeping track of the water meter over the course of months, and physically walking around and inspecting the pipes you can catch a leak before any real damage is done. Always when you are planning construction or any type of remodel, make sure that the water pipes are clearly marked on plans (along with the gas) and you know where all of the main shut offs are.