How to Spot a Leaky Pipe

If you have noticed a loss of water pressure in the shower or while doing dishes lately, the culprit may very well be a leaky pipe. This can be maddening, and sometimes, getting to the bottom of the problem if you can’t physically access your pipes can be even worse! That’s why we’re here to help.

Leaks in your pipes can send your water bill payments soaring through the roof, and also do damage to your home. So if you DO have access to your plumbing pipes, inspect the pipe fittings and make sure none of them are leaking.

Sometimes your pipes are in between floorboards or in your walls, so you can’t reach them. If that’s the case, give the following methods a shot:

  • Feel around your walls or floor to see if you find any moisture that might have stemmed from a leak.
  • Turn off all plumbing fixtures – dishwasher, washer, faucets, shower, etc. – and see if you can find the source of the leak (Remember that water only drips on to your walls after travelling horizontally through pipes).
  • Pull out the plumbing diagram of your house if you have access to it so that you can find the location of possible leaks.
  • Underneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks, check out the cabinets there as sink traps are typical spots for leaks. If the trap has glue or screw-type fittings, they’re even more susceptible.
  • By opening up the lid on your water meter in the yard, you can watch the dials move. If you can see the dial moving then that means your water supply line is leaking. Leave the water off for 45 minutes to an hour, even if the dial isn’t moving, and then go back and check the meter to see if the numbers have changed at all. If they do, this indicates a slow leak but if they do not, your drainpipe is the source of the leak.

If you can’t see water spots or damage then there a few ways to put your other senses to work to find hidden leaks. The floors or walls near drains or sewers will emit a foul odor if there is a leak, and you may be able to hear water running even if all your fixtures are turned off.

Once you have zeroed in on the leak you can get it patched up, or, if you’re able, move on to the large selection of pipes carried by Detroit Nipple Works for a fresh start, including PVC, copper, stainless steel, and galvanized pipes. We also offer a variety of pipe fittings. Contact us today and let us see what we can do for you!