Water leaks can be a significant problem for property and home owners all over the Greater Toronto Area. Everyday plumbers head out to people’s homes and businesses to perform leak detection services. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that water leaks can cause a single family home to waste over 37,000 litres (10,000 gallons) of water per year. Furthermore, if you took all of the water leaked across the entire U.S. it would be enough water to supply Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago for an entire year. While there may not be quite as many people in Canada, or Toronto for that matter, the take home from this is that water leaks are a significant waste of water. Plus, water leak repair saves property owners a buck by reducing the water bill, prevents costly and hazardous water damage, and is good for the environment.
Source of Water Leaks
Although there are many causes of leaks there are some very common issues that many people will face; for instance water leaking from old plumbing fixtures that need to be repaired is very common. Let’s take a look at a few of the most frequent problems we encounter:
When your toilet leaks it is usually caused by water draining from the tank into the bowl. There is a very simple way to detect this – simply put a few drops of your favourite food colouring into the tank and leave it to its own devices for 20 or so minutes. After you’ve waited a bit come back and take a look at the water in the bowl, if it has changed colour you know for sure that the water in the tank has leaked into the bowl – evidence of a leaky toilet.
Usually this problem is caused by a faulty toilet flapper and you can check this out for yourself by peering into the tank, sometimes the problem will be evident and a DIY solution may even be possible. If you’re really not too sure about how to fix the problem it’s always a good idea to call a plumber to take a look at it.
Notorious for the constant drip-drip-dripping sound a faucet that leaks can be a very annoying problem. The cause of the dripping is most often caused by a worn out washer. Replacing these washers is a fairly straight-forward task but you will need to take your faucet apart to gain access. Depending on your type of faucet this may or may not be an easy job – you should begin by searching the manufacturer’s website for instructions on how to proceed.
Outdoor Spigot Leaks
When we talk about a leaky outdoor spigot we are looking at the hose connection. Some people might think of the hose connection as being a faucet of sorts and they would be right, a spigot and a faucet are basically the same thing in laymen’s terms. A leaky outdoor faucet is usually caused by two things; either there is a problem with the spigot itself and it needs to be replaced – very common – or the hose connection needs to be fixed. Inside of the hose connector there is a rubber washer, it happens sometimes that this washer gets old and no longer does its job properly; also it may simply have fallen out. Replacing the washer is a good first step to try, if the problem persists you may need to call a plumber to come and change the spigot.
Signs That Your Water May Be Leaking
t is the task of all property and home owners to keep an eye on their properties state of maintenance and when it comes to leaking plumbing the task is of even more importance. Here are a few ways that will help you prevent a leak from getting out of control. Check Your Water Bill
A very good way of monitoring leaks is to simply check your water bill. If you’ve developed a significant leak you can tell right away as your bill will spike to indicate that your water usage has gone up. If you haven’t suspected a leak until now it’s a good idea to take a look around and see if you can find anything that looks unusual.
Keep an Eye Out For Unusual Wet Spots
If you notice any dampness, moisture, or areas that have accumulated water where there really should not be any it could be a sign that a leak has developed somewhere in your plumbing. This can be a sign for instance if a pipe has cracked within the concrete slab in the basement (referred to as a slab leak), or in your lawn there may be a sudden area of wetness where there wasn’t before. If you can’t figure out what might be causing it it’s a good idea to contact your local plumber to take a look at it.
Basement plumbing leaks can be common so it’s a good idea to become acquainted with the myriad of pipes present down there; this way if you discover a leak you may be able to quickly assess what needs to be looked at.
Steps To Confirm a Leak
So you think you have a leak? There are a few steps you can take to double-check that a leak is present.
- Find your water meter. Depending on your individual circumstances your water meter could be in a myriad of locations, near the street, in the basement, on the side of your house. In Toronto they are commonly found in the basement near the front wall of your house.
- Turn off every fixture and water consuming device in your home. This will stop all water from being used and thus stop the water meter from detecting and usage.
- Check the water meter again. Watch the water meter for 5 or so minutes, if you see it moving at all this means that water is being used somewhere in your home, since you’ve already shut off every fixture and item that uses water it must be caused by a leak somewhere in your property.
Confirmed your water leak? We suggest you…
Schedule Time For Repairs
If you think you’ve found a leak, or are having problems determining if you have a leak the best thing to do is to contact a licensed plumber to take a look at your problem, diagnose your specific water leak, and provide any repairs necessary. Water leaks left unrepaired can easily cost a fortune in water bills and in the worst case become very serious water damage issues down the road.