Have you noticed your water bill has mysteriously gone up recently? Can you hear the sound of running water even though all the faucets are turned off? An unusually high water bill coupled with the sound of running water is a good indication that there is a leak. In order to confirm that there is indeed a leak, start by checking the fixtures and ensure that all faucets are indeed turned off properly. If you have a water meter, check whether the dial is moving or not. If the dial is moving, you do have a leak somewhere on your property.
Finding the Leak:
You can easily find the leak with the help of the below mentioned tips:
– If you hear the sound of running water, try to trace the source. You can purchase a specially designed listening device which can amplify the sound if you hold it near a pipe.
– If your ceiling has water stains or you find water dripping down, then the leak is most likely coming from above. This is also true if you find wet or damp spots on the walls.
-Usually wall stains will happen at any point which is below the actual leak and hence you may have to remove a part of the wall to locate it.
– In the absence of the sound or traces of water dripping, it is tough to locate leaks. Therefore, you need to do things the hard way and use a flashlight to check all the pipes in the basement and crawl spaces for any leaks.
Repairing the Leak:
In case of a major leak you will have to cut off the water supply. You may do so from the fixture shutoff valve or the main shutoff valve. You may have to get the leaked segment replaced. This is a point where it may be a good idea to contact a plumber, as replacing a section of pipe should be done by someone with experience. If there is a minor leak you can use these temporary solutions to help you buy some time:
– Clamps are helpful in controlling leaks for a decent amount of time. They can last for many months if you use them with a proper, long lasting rubber blanket. You may invest in a rubber sheet and some clamps which match the size of the pipe. These are available at most hardware stores and keep them handy in case of need.
– A sleeve clamp which accurately fits with the pipe diameter is ideal. You need to wrap the leak with the rubber blanket and then screw the clamp in place above the rubber.
– You can also block a pin hole leak with the help of an adjustable hose clamp which you may use with the rubber blanket.
– You can even use a C-clamp and a tiny piece of wood along with a rubber blanket if you are unable to find anything better.
– If the clamp is not working you can apply epoxy putty around the joint. Make sure that the pipe is dry or else the putty will not stay in place. It’s also important to cut off the water supply to the area and then apply the putty. You need to give some time for it to harden over the pipe before you restore the water supply.
– As a last resort you can even stop a tiny leak by shoving a pencil point into it if you are unable to find a clamp or putty.