FINDING a Water Leak in the House

monicakm_gwSeptember 14, 2010

A friend has had a water leak in her home. It's in the walls, not the fixtures. The have no idea how long it's been leaking but floors and walls are swelling. They haven't been able to FIND the leak yet. This is a pier and beam house. I recently caught a bit of audio on one of the home improvement shows on how to determine where the leak is, but, not sure I have all the details just right.

1. Turn off the main at the road.

2 Turn off all the valves to all plumbing fixtures.

3 Turn the main back on.

4 One at a time, turn on the valve to each water fixture and check to see if the meter starts turning.

Would this give them a clue where to look?



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If this is as troublesome as it sounds, you may want to hire a "leak finder" service. What they do is purge your lines, then pressurize them with air and listen for leaks with a sonic-detection instrument and ear-phones. More typically used for underground leaks but I believe viable for hidden leaks in walls, too.

They're expensive...I would estimate a visit would be maybe 300 range. However, I can tell you from experience that they're good. They will pinpoint the leak location for you. May be worth a phone call if you're out of cheaper alternatives. At least they could explain what they do and allow you to consider.

I would also notify your insurance carrier. I suspect they'll help you. If so, they will cover this service as well.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 5:10PM
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" One at a time, turn on the valve to each water fixture and check to see if the meter starts turning. "

This is only useful if the leak is after the valve and is relatively large.

A very small leak may not have enough volume to measure on the meter in a short time, but when leaking 24 hours a day even a tiny drip can create a lot of damage.

The first place to start looking is the damage site and above.
Water still flows down hill though the path may not be very direct.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 6:21AM
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