Plumbing Leak Detection Methods for DIY’ers

close up of a woman looking through a magnifying glass depicting water leak detection methods

Every home will experience plumbing leaks. It doesn’t matter if the house has an old or new plumbing system. Water always finds a way of escaping containment. The best thing you can do is to spot leaks early and prevent further damage. However, it is not always easy. Leaks are often hidden from view, so you must get creative while searching. Read on to learn ten plumbing leak detection methods.

Learn More About Our Leak Repair Services Call Now To Schedule A Consultation

Plumbing Leak Detection Methods for DIY’ers

Keep reading to explore some useful leak-detection tips that just about anyone can use. This way, you can make your home more water-efficient.

1. Monthly Bill Tracking

image of water bills depicting water-saving concept

You don’t have to see a leak to know that it is present. You can just track the monthly household water consumption to see irregularities. Keep all relevant documents organized. Was there a sudden spike in volume? Are you paying so much more than you did before? If the number of occupants and daily routines hasn’t changed, consumption should remain steady. You have every reason to suspect a leak if you notice any abnormality. Call a plumber to help you find and fix it.

Call Today: (610) 351-9889

2. Water Meter Testing

Can’t wait for the next water bill? Use your water meter to test for leaks right away. Figure out where it is: the basement and the perimeter are common locations. Begin the test by turning off all faucets, showers, and water-dependent appliances. Once you are certain that everything is closed, note the number on the meter display. Wait for an hour or so before checking for changes. Since you are not actively consuming water, the number should stay the same. An increase confirms the presence of a leak.


3. Toilet Color Trick

Toilets can leak water without you knowing about it. For example, damaged chains and flappers might allow liquid from the tank to drip into the bowl. Even small gaps can waste a lot of water. The clear fluid is hard to detect, so you might want to use food coloring to improve your observations. Do this trick on all the toilets in your house. Choose a dark hue for sharp contrast against a light-colored bowl. If you placed blue coloring in the tank, you should see blue streaks to confirm the leak.

4. Surface Examinations

Leaks rarely gush out of pipes. Instead of eye-catching waterworks, you are likely to encounter slow trickles. If these are coming from above, you might see surface discoloration around walls and ceilings. Bubbles can also form behind wallpaper and paint. Ignoring these signs would be a mistake. They will only get worse with time and make affected rooms look unsightly. Renovations are expensive. It is much cheaper to pay for professional plumbing repairs early than to let the surfaces deteriorate.

Learn More About Our Water Leak Repair Services Call Now To Schedule An Appointment

5. Grass Growth Gaze

An irrigation system can make lawn care stress-free by delivering water uniformly across an area. You should end up with healthy green grass without doing much work. If you see sections of grass that are brighter and taller than the rest, you may have a leak in the underground irrigation lines. Sometimes it manifests as a muddy spot or a suspicious puddle despite the lack of recent rainfall. Ask your plumber to dig and investigate the matter.

6. Musty Monitoring

woman plugging nose from musty smelly from plumbing water leak

You may not see a leak, but you can often smell it. Moisture surfaces are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. These produce a foul or musty odor. Use your nose to figure out if you have a leak or not. Go from room to room and smell the difference. One of these may be worse than the others. If you look around, you may find other clues such as damaged panels and black splotches. Act quickly. Call your local plumber for help in dealing with the problem.

Click Here To Learn More About Our Plumbing Services Call To Make An Appointment

7. Sound Sensitivity

Turn off the TV and the radio. Stop all moving appliances, including fans, air conditioners, and other sources of sound. You might also want to close the doors and windows to reduce outside influence in your observation. Close your eyes and listen for drips. If you focus hard enough, you may find the leak source. You will usually find visible signs as you get closer to the damaged area. You can stop there and let a professional take over.

8. Plumbing Fixture Focus


Some cases involve faulty plumbing fixtures, such as aging faucets and showers. They may not work as before, with water dripping out at various rates. Don’t wait until these become full inoperable. Even slow drops of water can fill multiple gallons in a day. Imagine how much water you will waste in a year. Repair these fixtures or replace them with new ones as soon as possible.

9. Regular Pipe Inspections

Don’t just search for leaks when you notice obvious signs. Make it a habit to conduct regular pipe inspections at least once a year. Of course, it would be better to do it more frequently because plumbing issues can develop at any time. The earlier you spot them, the sooner you can move towards a suitable remedy. Get familiar with your plumbing system and note the vulnerable areas. Consider insulating the exterior pipes before winter comes.

Learn More About Our Plumbing Services Call Today To Make An Appointment

10. Leak Sensor Installation

Are you fond of high-tech solutions? You may use portable leak sensors to alert you about possible puddles in a snap. These are small battery-operated devices that you may leave on the floor near pipes, such as under the sink or near the washing machine. It can make loud sounds to get your attention, similar to smoke detectors. Their presence in your home should give you peace of mind. Test these periodically to ensure continued effectiveness. Replace the batteries as suggested by the manufacturer.



Leaks are inevitable for homeowners. Everyone will experience them. Be vigilant in monitoring your plumbing system so that you can quickly detect their presence. Use the strategies described above to figure things out early. They will save you from costly repairs. When it comes to plumbing systems, you can go DIY for detection, but leave the repairs to the professionals. They will ensure excellent results with permanent fixes for every situation. Don’t take chances. Get expert help whenever you can.

Click Here To Learn More About Our Plumbing Services Call To Make An Appointment

Call Robinson Plumbing For Superior Plumbing Services

Robinson Plumbing Logo
Contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the most trusted plumbing companies in the Lehigh Valley, for reliable plumbing services. We offer various plumbing services ranging from water heater replacements, toilet repairs and replacements, drain clogs, water leaks, and more. We always give a wide range of solutions when possible for any plumbing repairs. This allows you to choose the best options for your home and budget.

Find yourself dealing with an unexpected plumbing problem in the middle of the night? No worries! You can count on the expert plumbers at Robinson Plumbing to take care of you. We offer reliable 24-hour emergency plumbing services. You can count on us to get the job done quickly and correctly and, best of all, at an affordable price.

We proudly offer the most affordable and best plumbing services in the Lehigh Valley area. Our plumbers all have the proper licenses and expertise to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work comes with a guarantee. Contact Robinson Plumbing today and schedule your free estimate.

Call Now: (610) 351-9889 Read Our Testimonials

Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or contact us for any questions that you might have! Click the link to view our service area.