12 Tips for Leak Detection
Seemingly insignificant water leaks around the property can end up costing owners a heap of money especially if left unattended. Just like any other infrastructure, water lines, pipework, faucets and water appliances age and wear. In result they start to leak. Leaks don’t necessarily cause property damage (although they could) but they beef up the monthly water bill, plus wasting a precious and scarce resource such as water is not advisable. Currently the state of California is experiencing some of the worst droughts in decades and water wasting meets zero tolerance by local authorities, which is shown through the steep five hundred dollar fine for wasting water. Leak detection in appliances and features is not hard at all, and one can easily localize and isolate most leaks. Water always follows the path of least resistance and drips and pools as closer to the ground as physically possible – keep that in mind while doing leak detection around the place.
Faucets see a lot of daily use, usually it is the washers and seals that are first to wave a white flag. When aged and worn, washers or seals lose their flexibility and become rigid thus leaky. When inspecting the faucet for leaks:
- Touch and feel underneath the faucet or tap to check if it is wet or if there are any visible drips;
- Check the surface (sink) under the tap for pools of dripping water;
- Visible water streaks on the tilework behind the sink are tell-tale sign of a leak;
- Remember to inspect both indoor and outdoor faucets for leaks regularly;
Toilets don’t leak as often, but once they do you need to act fast as toilet leaks are larger and cost you more in water bills. It is estimated than an average toilet leak can add up to many gallons of wasted water per day. How to figure out where the toilet leaks from?
- Inspect the flushing mechanism – faults will be pretty easy to spot;
- A constantly leaking toilet is likely to have a worn overflow valve – the part must be replaced;
- Plunger-ball leaks are also quite common, to check for one put a few drops of food dye in the toilet cistern and wait overnight without flushing; if the dye has leaked to the bowl then you need to replace the plunger-ball.
Dishwashers, fridges and washing machines rarely leak, but when they do the problem must be dealt with as soon as possible. When inspecting these appliances for leaks:
- Look for pools of water underneath;
- Look for stains and mould around water intakes and appliance drains;
Pools & Spa Leaks
These can be a real problem as they waste a large amount of water in little time. Check pools and spas for leaks as frequently as possible. Leak detection should include:
- Noting water supply issues, uneven water pressure and water flow to the property;
- Checking for unusually soggy ground around the pool or spa;
- Checking for loose, or out of place tiles around the pool;
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