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How to Detect a Plumbing Leak in Your Home


Sooner or later, every homeowner has to deal with plumbing leaks. Pipes deteriorate, screws become loose, rubber gaskets disintegrate and water starts sipping through the cracks here and there. The sooner you detect the leak, the faster it can be fixed and the less costly the fix will be. When a plumbing leak is left unnoticed for a long time, you may end up with the following damages:

  • Higher water bills due to the wasted water
  • Flooring, drywall or insulation that need to be replaced
  • Damaged personal items
  • Mold and mildew

When looking for a plumbing leak, it’s important to understand that not all leaks are evident. For example, when the pipes leak underneath the floor slab or behind the wall, the leak will become visible only once significant damage is done in the form of peeling wallpaper or buckling hardwood. At this point, you are already a few hundred dollars into repair. Also, don’t forget that plumbing refers not only to the pipes, but to the plumbing fixtures as well. So if you have a running toilet or a leaky shower head, there might not be any visible damage due to water dripping inside a tub, which is still a leak.

If you discover an obvious leak, such as water on your bathroom floor or a burst pipe, call your local Maryland plumbing repair specialist right away. At Michael Runk Plumbing, we even offer emergency plumbing services in situations when a leak is sudden and extensive.

Do the Meter Test

The best way to find hidden leaks is to perform the meter test. To do this, you first need to shut off all water-using fixtures and appliances in your home to make sure no water is being used. Once this is done, locate your water meter (usually found outside of your house) and take the reading. Leave it for half an hour and come back to check the numbers again. If the numbers went up, this means there could be a leak in your plumbing. To rule out a running toilet, you can either shut off toilet valves and repeat the test or add food coloring to the tank and see if it makes its way into the bowl without you performing a flush.

For more tips, watch this video from Angie’s List on how to spot plumbing leaks.

As Carroll County Plumbing Contractors, we are experienced in investigating, finding and fixing a variety of common and uncommon household leaks. While some simple leaks you can fix yourself by tightening a faucet screw, other leaks should better be left to a professional to make sure they don’t happen again.

Give us a call at 410.781.6791 and consider that leak gone!

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