Water leaks, even small ones, can have devastating results, especially if they are out of sight and are left unrepaired. Leaks can be easy for even amateurs to detect if they occur in a U- or J-bend pipe below a kitchen or bathroom faucet, but what if the leak is behind a wall or underground? Depending on the severity of the leak you may see indicators, such as wet drywall or an unusual wet spot on your lawn, but by the time that happens a lot of damage has likely already been done, and repairing the issue can be especially expensive. So how can you check right now if your home has a leak?
Indicators of a Leak in Your Home or Business’s Plumbing
The first important step you should take is determining whether or not you have cause to call a professional plumber with the tools necessary to pinpoint a hidden leak’s location. That means figuring out if you have a leak.
You should begin to suspect a leak if:
• Your water bills are suddenly higher despite no change in your household’s water usage
o Check your water meter – if it is continuously ticking despite no water being used in the home or yard you likely have a leak
• There are mysterious wet spots in your home or business, or worse yet mold or mildew smell
• You find new cracks in your home’s foundation
• Discoloration or wet spots occur in flooring near sinks, toilets or tubs
If you suspect you have a leak but aren’t positive, your water meter can likely tell you. Shut off all the water in your home. Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine aren’t running and temporarily shut off water to your water heater if you have a traditional tank water heater.
When you’re sure all the water in your home is off find your water meter.
It should be outside of your home, likely in the front near the street or somewhere else accessible in case the city needs to check it for any reason. Water meters often have heavy metal or concrete lids covering them, so be careful when you lift it. You may want to use a flathead screwdriver to pry the lid up. A screwdriver is also useful for clearing out any spider webs or poking around to make sure there aren’t any scorpions or other critters potentially lurking inside your meter box.
On the water meter should be an old analog dial or a newer digital dial. Water meters measure usage by cubic foot or gallons, and if you have a small leak you may be concerned you won’t be able to detect a miniscule leak in comparison to the thousands of gallons you’ve used in the past. Luckily you don’t have to sit staring at the dial for an hour to see it tick up a gallon.
Every water meter has what’s known as a “leak indicator,” also sometimes referred to as a “low flow dial.” On most water meters this appears to be a little asterisk or triangle somewhere on the upper left of the dial’s face or in the middle. If all the water in your home is off this should be standing completely still. If the leak dial is rotating, even a little bit, there is a leak somewhere in your home or office. Small, drip leaks may still be hard to detect, so if you’re not sure try putting a twig or something small on the dial’s glass cover for reference to determine whether or not the leak indicator is rotating slowly.
If the meter “rocks,” – meaning the indicator goes backward then forward to the same spot – this does not indicate a leak, only that water pressure in the main is fluctuating.
If your home or business in the San Antonio area has a water leak but you aren’t sure where, call 210-654-1034 to schedule leak detection service from Aramendia. Our expert have an array of tools to identify leaks, including cameras that allow us to inspect your sewer line from the inside. Water leaks can be a process of elimination – be sure you are working with a professional!
No leak can hide from Aramendia, so if you suspect your home or business has a water leak, contact us today.
Aramendia has been serving San Antonio
and the surrounding areas for over 29 years and we pride ourselves on the trust and reputation we have earned over that time. Our loyal customers know us as a reliable and trustworthy service company that will quickly send a highly-qualified technician to their home or office to take care of them. In August of 2017, Aramendia became part of the Service Experts family. As a Service Experts company, Aramendia will continue to serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.