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JD's Prompt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

How Plumbers Locate Sneaky Leaks


Sometimes, a plumbing leak is obvious. Water is dribbling out around the base of a faucet, for example, or the shower just doesn’t shut off all the way no matter what you do. Or it’s obvious in a dramatic, exciting, plumbing-emergency sort of way, with water gushing or spraying. But in other cases, a plumbing leak can be pretty sneaky.

There’s plumbing all throughout your walls. There are pipes under your floors. There are even pipes underneath the concrete foundation of your home. And if leaks occur in those places, they can do a lot of damage and waste a lot of water before you realize what’s going on. So what are the signs of a hidden leak? And how do plumbers locate sneaky leaks so they can repair them? We’ve got the info you need right here.

Signs of a Sneaky Leak

Before a plumber can come with the appropriate equipment for pinpointing the exact location of a leak, you need to know there’s a problem that you should call a plumber about. A hidden leak can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms. Here are some common ones.

  • Sounds: Do you hear running, trickling, or dripping water even when all your taps and appliances are shut off?
  • Smells: Water leaking into somewhere hidden in your home can easily lead to mold, and thus a mildew smell.
  • Sights: Are there any stains or spots? Is paint or wallpaper peeling up? Is wood swollen or bloated?
  • Humidity: Is the air in your home heavier or wetter than it should be?
  • Pressure: A particularly bad leak can decrease the water pressure all over your home.
  • Water Heater Issues: Since leaks are more likely to occur in hot water pipes than cold, you might hear your water heater running when you haven’t been using any hot water.
  • Bills: Your water bill should only increase dramatically if your use has increased dramatically, such as by having more people living in your home, or filling up a swimming pool. Unexplained increases in water usage usually indicate a leak.
  • Foundation Cracks: If the leak is under your foundation, it can cause the concrete to crack!

How Plumbers Locate Sneaky Leaks

In the past, it was much trickier for plumbers to find the source of a leak. Much more guesswork was involved, which meant that it was more likely that larger areas of wall or floor would have to be opened up in order to locate the plumbing problem. Today’s plumbers don’t have to go through all that! They use advanced technology to get to the source without wasting time or causing damage.

Acoustic listening discs are like echolocation, amplifying and clarifying the sound of water. (Did you know that beavers locate leaks in their dams by sound?) Thermal scanners show temperatures, allowing plumbers to see where heat is coming from, because as we mentioned, the majority of plumbing leaks are in hot water pipes. Finally, video pipe inspection allows plumbers to get eyes on the inside of the pipes in real-time.

If you suspect a leak, don’t let it worsen until you have major water damage and huge bills! Don’t worry that plumbers will tear apart your house to find it! With professional leak detection in Lubbock, TX, your problem can be resolved quickly and easily.

JD’s Prompt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Lubbock area. Contact us for all your plumbing needs.

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