ceiling leakingOne of the most terrifying sounds you can hear as a homeowner is running water when water shouldn’t be running. Suddenly it’s domestic DEFCON 1. All hands on deck! Shut off the water and find that leak. Call the plumber! Phew, disaster averted. But what about when you can’t hear it? Well fortunately for you, there are other options before you need to start wearing a raincoat around the house.

As with any plumbing problem, early detection of a leak is the best way to protect your property from significant water damage. To that end, here are 5 easy methods of detecting a water leak within your home.

  1. Distant Sound of Running Water:
    This is the go to method of detecting a water leak. That “distant” sound may not be quite as far away as you think though. Your house has pipes running all through the walls like veins through a body. The hollow space within the walls can distort the noise, causing it to echo and appear as if it is coming from a great distance away.

    Once you’ve called a plumber, they ought to be able to pinpoint the exact location of the leak and begin to repair your problematic pipe.

  2. Damp or Discoloured Patches:
    A small leak or steady drip within your walls may not lead to an unwanted indoor swimming pool but it is still cause for concern. Without the sound of rushing water you need to rely on other methods of detection.

    Unusual patches of damp of discoloured wall, ceiling or floor should be investigated immediately. If the air in the room feels inexplicably colder or dirty, this can also be another indication of damp.

  3. Slow Dripping:
    By far and away the most obvious sign of a leak; water dripping through the ceiling or wall warrants an immediate call to the plumber. Although this goes without saying, use a bucket to catch the water to minimise the damage. Turn the water off if possible.
  4. Smell:
    If you notice a lingering stench – similar to a wet dog – then there’s a good chance you have a leak lurking somewhere nearby. Or you have a wet dog. If it’s the latter, you can probably hold off on calling the plumber.
  5. Price Hike on the Water Bill:
    This is a painful yet effective way to discover that you have a water leak. A significantly higher than average bill with no other logical explanation is an almost guaranteed sign of a leak.

    You can avoid waiting for your bill if you suspect a leak however. Turn off your water then check your meter. If it is still going up, you’ve just found out you have a leak.

Once you’ve detected a leak using any of the above methods, immediately turn off the water supply and contact a plumber. Depending on the severity of the leak, a plumber will usually make your issue a priority job. Congratulations! You’ve just avoided a very inconvenient and costly problem with these 5 simple tips.