Water leak and slab leak detection and repair is a tricky subject, but it’s not out of reach for the normal homeowner. You simply need to know what to watch for and what to do when you realize you have a problem.
This article will cover how to spot a leak, how to identify where it’s from, along with some common leaks you might be faced with:
6 Common Household Water Leaks
- Water Leak from Ceiling
- Burst Pipes
- Toilet Supply Lines
- Hot Water Tanks
- Slab Leak
How Can You Tell Where a Water Leak is Coming From
A water leak is one of the most dreaded events you as a homeowner can face, especially when you can’t figure out where it’s coming from. It sounds simple enough – you see water, you’ve found the leak. Well… it’s not always that easy. Sometimes it is, but don’t be fooled, even what seems to be obvious can turn out to be misleading.
Water Leak From Ceiling
If you think you have a water leak from your ceiling, that’s pretty easy to attack, at least to a point. If you have a wet spot on your ceiling, don’t wait around, get up there now and figure out where the water is actually coming from. A water leak somewhere above your ceiling can be from an overflowing drain upstairs, or a burst pipe in the attic, or a leak in your roof, etc. But wherever it’s from, it’s serious!
A leak in your ceiling can quickly get out of control to the point of impacting a very large portion of your home before you know it, ruining your ceiling and potentially everything underneath it as well. The best course of action is to check your upstairs drains and/or turn off your water main for starters. Stopping the flow of water immediately is priority number one.
If you think your roof is leaking, that’s a whole different issue (and requires a different set of experts to solve). If it seems to only happen when it rains, there’s your first clue! However, that doesn’t mean your roof is necessarily leaking. Sometimes a window needs to be re-caulked, or a gutter needs to be cleaned out. My home recently had both of those problems, but the evidence was elsewhere.
I noticed a slight mildew smell in my living room, and after investigating a little realized that my new white oak wood floor was buckling slightly near the outside wall. After investigating it a little, I concluded that because my gutter needed a good cleanout, a huge volume of rainwater was overflowing and running down the side of my house, going behind a window facing that needed a good re-caulking, down the studs in my wall and underneath my wood floor.
So after first hiring a painter to come caulk around the window, I then cleaned out my gutter – which together stopped my leak. Now I only have to repair the wood floor, which is probably going to be the most expensive part. I will probably end up making an insurance claim and only be out my $3000 deductible, especially if my whole floor has to be refinished in the process.
The reason I’m telling you this story is because what I might have assumed was a leaky roof turned out to be a combination of other things, which illustrates my point – it can be tricky to spot where a leak is coming from. However, you simply cannot afford to put it off or assume it’ll be fine somehow. Be proactive, call an expert, and save your biggest investment – your home.
Underground Water Leak
You may have an underground water leak, which can also be tricky to fix. These can happen to your water main, your septic system (if you have one), your sewer line, your sprinkler system, and more. Some signs of an underground water leak can be:
•A spot in your yard that seems to stay wet more than the rest of your yard
•A patch of grass that seems to be greener than the other grass for no apparent reason
•A low spot that suddenly appears for no reason
•A mildew or moldy smell when you venture out into your yard, even in dry weather
•An unusually high water bill on a month that should be normal, as far as you know
If you think you have an underground water leak, you might need to turn off your water main while you investigate, in case it’s a broken main that’s running wide open underground. This happened to me when I built a home, because my plumbing contractor made a mistake on the initial install of the water main, it broke & ran for days (we had not moved in yet), and my first water bill was over $7000!
The water company did a “leak adjustment” (something you can ask for if it happens to you), which took the bill down to $2500, and my builder covered it! Which was the right thing to do, but it was still a huge relief for us.
In that case, the only indicator was the high water bill – our ground was so dry that there was absolutely no sign above ground of a leak at all.
6 Common Household Water Leaks and What to Do About Them
- Water Leak from Ceiling – covered in the first paragraph of this article
- Burst Pipes – if you have a burst pipe, you’re likely to know it because of the sudden volume of water running somewhere it doesn’t belong. Turn off your water main & call an expert, like the ones at plmbrs.com.
- Toilet Supply Lines – if you have a leak behind your toilet, the first step is to turn off the valve in the supply line behind your toilet. If that doesn’t stop it from running, go turn off the water main, and you guessed it – call an expert (a plumber – we have a good one for you, just call us).
- Appliances – appliances can also be a source of a water break. Most refrigerators have water lines running to them for the ice maker, at least. Pull it out from the wall and turn off the feeder valve behind your fridge. If that doesn’t stop it, once again, go for the water main & call a plumber
- Hot Water Tanks – a traditional water heater has a storage tank, which has a limited lifetime. Often when one fails, you won’t get a warning, it will suddenly just start leaking because it rusted through. Hopefully the leak pan underneath it will do its job and reroute the water safely outside your home. Either way, you need to turn off the main valve that feeds your water heater, usually at the top of the tank. If your traditional water heater has failed, you might consider replacing it with a tankless water heater and do away with the tank problem altogether. Read the blog linked above, along with our page about water heater repairs, so you can make an educated decision when you’re faced with it water heater issues.
- Slab Leak – a leak under your foundation or slab is more difficult to spot and locate, and oftentimes even a seasoned plumber will refer the job to a slab leak expert. Our technicians at plmbrs.com are trained to help you either way, so give us a call if you suspect you might have a leak under your slab. Read on for a more thorough explanation.
Slab Leak Detection and Repair
There are many signs of a possible slab leak. You might have noticed a section of carpet is slightly wet for no apparent reason, or your wood or vinyl flooring is buckling or otherwise not faring well, in the middle of the floor or not near a water source. Or your water bill is unusually high, and you don’t see any evidence of it anywhere.
As soon as you suspect a leak under your slab foundation, call a slab leak expert right away. If you don’t know anyone personally, please give us a call at 323-4-PLMBRS. We’ll connect you with the best one in your area and make sure you’re taken care of right away.
Water leak and slab leak detection and repair can be daunting for the average Joe, but don’t despair! Just give us a call and let one of our expert technicians walk you through the entire process. Our guys will be on time, clean & neat, do a great job, never charge you for the trip, and never charge overtime. Plus, they’re available 24/7/365, no matter what. We’ll be excited to help you.