Imagine that you’re sitting on your couch at home and watching TV. All of a sudden, you hear a dripping sound. Something’s leaking and you don’t know exactly where the noise is coming from. It’s almost like a gameshow—let’s play the game of Find That Leak!
The plain answer is, more than likely you’re going to need to call a plumber to come out and inspect the problem. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to either temporarily stop the water from leaking or better understand the situation. That way you’ll know if it’s an emergency or not.
There are two piping systems in your house: one delivers the water to your faucets (the water line), and the other takes away the water that you’ve used (the drain system). The goal is to isolate the cause of the leak to one of these two systems. If it’s a constant leak that doesn’t stop or slow down, it’s likely to be a water line. That’s because the water line has pressure in it all the time. If you’re seeing the leak continue to grow, the best course of action is to shut off the main water valve that sends water into the house.
If you only see the leak when someone flushes a toilet or takes a shower/bath, there’s a good chance that the issue is in the drain system. The best thing to do is just to stop using that fixture. You probably don’t have to shut off the main water valve in this case. If your home has a tile shower, that could also be the culprit. If the tile shower was installed improperly or a hole has developed in the protective liner, it could be causing the leak.
Some homes have an upstairs bathroom that leaves a telltale water stain on the ceiling underneath it. It’s coming from a sporadic bathtub leak that doesn’t drip all the time. This usually happens if the tub’s overflow seal is compromised. When you fill the bathtub all the way, the overflow drain prevents the water from spilling over.
When we make a home visit, we’ll try to recreate the problem. If we see a water stain, we’re going to try to work the fixtures to see if the problem occurs. We may fill the tub all the way to check the overflow or run the water in a tile shower. Recreating the problem in this manner makes it much easier to isolate the cause. From there, we can come up with the most effective way to resolve the issue.
If your home is experiencing a hard-to-find leak, you don’t have to play the game of Find That Leak! Just contact us online or give us a call at (540) 483-9382 so we can get it taken care of right away.