Plumbing leaks can damage your home, and they can be difficult to find. Before you cause more damage searching behind walls for the leak, consider these leak-detection methods.
A plumbing smoke test is very simple. Your plumber can fill your pipes with artificial smoke. If there are any leaks in your piping, the smoke will escape and create a visible indicator that allows them to locate the problem.
Air Pressure Test
Another method is to drain your pipes and turn off all faucets. An air gauge will then be attached to one end to measure air pressure as it is pumped into the system. After reaching a predetermined psi, you just wait to see if the pressure reading holds steady. If it decreases, that means air has escaped, indicating the presence of a leak.
Plumbers have special cameras that can be inserted into your pipes and used to assess the internal condition. They will be able to see blockages, cracks, erosion and any other damage.
Digital tests find leaks by listening for the sounds they make. Special devices amplify these noises, allowing professionals to locate the source of the problem.
Hydrostatic Pressure Test
Like smoke and air, water can also be used to detect plumbing problems. An inflatable plug can be used to stop water from exiting your pipes via the main clean out. If your pipes don’t fill up with water, as it should when the exit is blocked, it means there is a leak allowing fluids to escape elsewhere.
Water Meter Test
One easy way to identify problems is to watch your water meter. If the levels vary from their usual range, it may mean there is a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed.
Toilets are a major source of water waste. You can add a few drops of dye to your toilet tank to ensure that fluids are only moving from the tank to the bowl when the toilet is flushed. If the dye is present in the bowl without flushing, you may have a leak.
Water Damage Test
It may seem obvious, but the first thing you should do is watch for water damage. Water stains, peeling paint, mold or other damage indicate leaks and can tell you a lot about their location.
Leaky plumbing doesn’t have to be a hassle or result in extensive property damage. Remaining vigilant and testing for problems can stop leaks before it’s too late.