Co-branding Airtasker OneflareCo-branding Airtasker Oneflare
Hero image

Find a local plumber

    How to find a water leak

    Before it causes your home too much damage

    Hannah | Oneflare

    It’s safe to say that it is important to find a water leak in your plumbing as soon as possible. Clearly, no one wants to deal with the damage caused by broken pipes and costly repairs to damaged components, but let’s look at how to find a water leak quickly and easily.

    Signs of a leak

    There are some key indicators indicating that you could have a water leak in your home. Some are quite common and others not so much:

    • Often, when you have a leak in something like a sink, you may notice a subtle or even drastic increase in your water bill. This will be noticeable when your meter reading occurs.
    • You can feel or even see signs of mould forming in hard-to-reach areas or providing an optimal environment for growing that kind of stuff.
    • The bubbles in the paint or wallpaper are a good indicator that something wet is flowing to the other side.
    • If you think your hot water system leaking, try laying out a paper towel at the base of the unit. If you do have a leak you’ll see changes on the paper towel and know you’ve got a problem.
    • Ceilings can begin to sag or warp when water has accumulated in a given area for a period of time. This is particularly common in flat-roofed houses.
    • Flooring may start to sag or crack, which is also a good indicator. There is often a musty or earthy smell that can be difficult to eliminate. You can even find muddy or damp areas in the yard or around the house that seem wet.
    • Sometimes finding a leak underground is really tough to do. Further into this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to find a water leak underground.
    Source: Simoes Plumbing & Maintenance

    Water leaks in the walls

    Walls and floors can be severely damaged by leaks and moulds. Once the mould has begun to grow, the affected area will almost always have to be replaced entirely. In addition, this may require major renovations in an affected area, which is often expensive, especially in the case of structural damage.

    How to find where a leak is coming from

    A water leak is a serious problem and there are many ways it can happen. On top of water leaks from your plumbing structure, there are many devices and appliances that use water and carry the risk of leakage at some point, for example, a sink or tap. It is reasonable to say that the greater the amount of water associated with a leak, the more important the repair will be.

    How to detect a leak in the washing machine

    Did you come across some water underneath your washing machine? Looks like your washing machine is leaking. Here’s a list of all the various possible causes and also at what point in the cycle they can happen.

    • Threaded fittings on either drain, tap or fill hoses might be loose
    • Drain hose might not be installed properly into the home drain
    • Internal hoses in the washing machine might be faulty
    • Corroded clamps or cracked hoses are common causes of washing machine leaks

    The compression chamber of a washing machine fills with water and expels air to the pressure switch to indicate the level of water in the tank. Over time, the compression chamber of your machine may be clogged with impurities. Due to this plug, the unit will not be able to check the water level and the washing machine will continuously fill the water device until it leaks.

    How to find a water leak from the fridge

    Is your fridge leaking water? We will list some of the probable causes of water leak from the fridge.

    • In the bottom of your refrigerator is a gutter. As time goes by, litter becomes lodged and clogs the drain. If this is the case, the water will overflow and leak inside your fridge. We advise you to clean the gutter and its drain with hot water.
    • At the back of your fridge, between the compressor recovery tank and the chassis of the unit, there is very often a rubber valve. If it is dirty or clogged, the water will eventually overflow into the refrigerator. We advise you to clean it and replace it if it is damaged.
    • If the door seal is deformed or damaged, warm air will infiltrate and indirectly create frost. This frost will then melt and may create a small puddle on the floor under the freezer door.
    • The fridge might be placed uneven stopping the water from running into the drain hole.

    How to find a water leak in the ceiling

    Water leaking from the ceiling is not a good sign and you should act with caution.  Depending on whether you have neighbours on the floor above or not, the leak can have three origins. If it is a private house, it will probably come from the roof, unless you have pipes between the ceiling and the roof. If you are living in an apartment building it is possible that it is from the neighbours above.

    In case of water leakage from the ceiling, you must first identify the source of the leak. If it is a “human cause”, and the source of the leak has been found and dried up, you can simply contact your neighbour to take over the repairs. On the other hand, if you do not understand the origin of the leak, you must as soon as possible call a professional.

    First of all, be aware that under no circumstances should you repaint or cover a ceiling that has been leaked and whose cause has not been identified and repaired. You may experience new leaks that will damage your ceiling again.

    How to detect a leak from an air conditioner

    An air conditioner leaking water is one of the most common malfunctions encountered by owners of this type of appliance. What is the cause of this?

    Water production is a normal phenomenon for an air conditioner in good working order. This water must normally be evacuated continuously through the exhaust pipe of the air conditioner. If the hose gets clogged, the water can no longer be drained, causing the condensate pan to overflow. If you cannot immediately act on the leak, turn off the device to prevent the moisture generated from damaging the wall.

    How to find a water leak from the base of the toilet

    If your toilet is leaking, try to find the source of the problem before calling the plumber: sometimes, changing a simple seal may be enough. However, there might be other causes for this issue.

    • The tank of the toilet might have condensation on the outside
    • The connection of the toilet tank to the base might have loose seas or bolts
    • Water supply has a leaking pipe
    • The filling valve is faulty
    • The base is loosely connected to the floor

    Leaking pipe from the dishwasher

    Is your dishwasher leaking and you do not know why? To facilitate research, it is best to look at where and when the leak occurs.

    • Check the water inlet tube of your dishwasher. You can pass your hand with paper towels on the fittings to find more easily traces of water.
    • The rinse aid is used to drag the debris during the rinse phase and speed up the drying process of your dishes. Be careful because the rinse aid has a tendency to foam. This foam could create an overflow, and therefore a leak
    • Door seals might be worn. Clean these seals regularly and replace them if they are defective.

    What to do when your shower is leaking through the wall

    This type of water leak may easily go unnoticed. The signs aren’t easy to notice but it can be detected if you look closely. Here are some tips on how to find a water leak inside a wall;

    • Decreased water pressure in the shower while the rest of the house is fine
    • If there is a floor beneath your shower, you might see water dripping from the ceiling

    It is highly recommended to hire a professional plumber from a professional plumbing company as they have the tools and equipment that act as water leak detectors. The endoscopic camera makes it possible to efficiently inspect the leaking pipes and sewers; Thermal cameras are mainly used for locating leaks and faulty insulation but also for the search for leaks in heating systems and inaccessible pipes.

    Contact local plumbers

    What to do if you find your hot water system leaking

    First things first, you need to know if your hot water system is actually the source of your water leak. As we’re dealing with hot water, sometimes the leak can evaporate before we notice it. Here are some tips to help in the event that you find your hot water leaking.

    • Try laying out a paper towel at the base of the unit. If you do have a leak you’ll see changes on the paper towel and know you’ve got a problem.
    • Once you’ve established you’ve got a hot water system that’s leaking, be sure to cut the power to the unit immediately.
    • Then go ahead and turn off the water supply to the unit also, this will prevent any major flooding risks once you begin working on the unit.
    • Now, test the cold water inlet and hot water outlet. Any leak from this location is an easy fix, however, be sure to do it as soon as possible.
    • Check the temperature and pressure relief valve. Again, any leak from here is generally an easy fix.
    • Check the heater drain valve, this should be watertight. If it is not, this is also an easy fix.
    • If you find the leak to be minimal and you have experience fixing small plumbing issues yourself, consider carrying out any repairs you need by yourself.
    • If the problem is major, or if emergency repairs are needed it’s best to consult a professional plumber.

    How to find a leak underground

    Finding a leak outside can be a difficult thing to explore yourself due to the specialist equipment that’s required. To find out if you need to get expert help to find your leak underground, follow these steps:

    • Turn your water off at the mains tap.
    • Take note of the water meter reading when you turn it off, write it down.
    • Leave the water off for 30mins and come back to re-read the meter.
    • If the number has changed you’ll know you have a leak underground somewhere.

    To find where the leak is specifically and to fix the problem, it’s recommended that you employ an expert plumber to help.

    Facebook LikeTwitter

    How much will your job cost?

    The Oneflare Cost Guide Centre is your one-stop shop to help you set your budget; from smaller tasks to larger projects.