Are You Sure It’s a Leak?

Information on plumbing

The plumbing and heating industry is essentially the unsung hero of American culture. Helping us to maintain our relatively high standard of living, plumbing experts receive very little recognition for a lot of hard work. Many are surprised to hear that Albert Einstein himself once said that if he had to do it all over again, he would become a plumber, a statement that earned him status as an honorary member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union.

Today, plumber services are more important than ever, especially since the modern American is more convinced than ever of his prowess at repairing common plumbing problems. A remarkable 85% of Americans who have lost something down the drain or toilet tried to retrieve the items themselves, and many have attempted to unclog toilets. On a related note, the number of men admitting to having clogged a toilet when visiting someone else’s home is nearly double the amount of women making that admission.

Today, basic plumbing information is widely available, leading many to believe that they’re capable of fixing problems without a plumber service. While ancient water systems relied on gravity for the supply of water through pipes of lead, clay, bamboo, wood, or stone, today’s systems are much more complex. Even an endeavor to fix a leaky sink can be much more complicated than most homeowners realize. It’s wise to call a plumber service at the first sign of a problem, though even identifying a problem can be troublesome. Here are a few tips for identifying a leak so that you’ll know when to call up a plumber service.

  • The pressure relief valve on a hot water tank can alert you to a leak, but it’s wise to remove the drain pipe to confirm. If that’s not possible, listen for a hissing sound.
  • To check toilets for leaks, remove the top of the tank and listen carefully for any hissing sounds. It may also be helpful to put a couple drops of food coloring into the tank and wait a few minutes to see if it disappears. If the color is still in the bowl after about ten minutes, there is a leak in the flapper at the bottom of the tank.
  • If neither the hot water tank nor the toilets seem to be leaking, check the line running from the meter to the house. This is probably the most difficult to implement, but it saves money if a homeowner can locate a leak rather than asking professional plumbing services to do it. Locate the shut off valve and turn it off temporarily, then check the meter by removing the lid and watching the dial on top of the meter. In the event that the meter head is not visible, homeowners may need to dig around it, as they are sometimes covered by dirt or grass. If the meter is turning and the valve is turned off the leak is between the meter and the house. Then, walk the space between the meter and the shut off valve looking for signs of leaks like muddy areas, grass that is greener or faster growing than the rest of the lawn.

Locating leaks is one of the biggest money saving home plumbing tips, potentially saving homeowners significant amounts of money. Though plumbing and heating services may need to be called to repair leaks, the location of a leak can be a time consuming process for which plumbing and heating services charge accordingly.

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