Even if one of your plumbing fixtures only has a minor leak, the dripping adds up quickly. The EPA estimates that leaky faucets can waste up to 259 gallons of water per month, which both harms the environment and impacts your water bill.

Initially, some leaks are so small that you won’t notice anything is wrong. Others are located in out-of-the-way places in your house, so you might not notice the leak immediately. However, the faster you locate any leaks in your home, the sooner you can contact a plumber who can address the problem. To find that leak now, follow these tips.

Inspect Your Water Fixtures, Faucets, and Pipes
Start by performing a visual inspection of all of your water fixtures, including faucets, showerheads, and the pipes under the sink. Sometimes leaks stem from cracks and other imperfections in the fixtures themselves, which usually means you’ll have to replace the fixtures.

Other times, the faucet and water fixtures leak because of broken valves in your water lines. You should replace valves whenever you upgrade your fixtures, faucets, and even toilets. You also might consider installing a compression valve, which is a fail-safe back-up valve that allows you to shut off your water.

Head into your basement to finish your visual inspection on the exposed pipes down there. Look for signs of moisture and corrosion on the pipes, and then check your basement for mold and mildew.

Check Your Toilet’s Flapper and Refill Valve
After you’ve performed a visual inspection of your water fixtures, faucets, and pipes, check your toilets. Take the lid off of each toilet tank in your home. Make sure the water level sits an inch below the top of the overflow tube. If it’s too high or too low, the refill valve could be broken.

Next, flush the toilet and listen for a hissing sound, which is a sure indicator of a leak. If the hissing noise doesn’t lead you to the source of your leak, add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. Wait for about five minutes, and then check the toilet bowl. If the food coloring has seeped into the toilet bowl, that means your toilet’s flapper is leaking.

Examine the Area Under the Kitchen Sink
Most water leaks in the kitchen occur beneath the sink. Just as you did in the basement, check the exposed pipes and joints under the sink for signs of moisture and corrosion. See if mold and mildew have grown or if the cabinet’s wood has rotted.

Look for Water Damage on Walls, Floors, and Ceilings
Many of your home’s pipes are underneath the floor, above the ceiling, and buried in the walls. When these pipes leak, it may take you longer to notice them than you would leaks that occur in the bathroom or the kitchen.

Because these leaks often go unnoticed, they can damage your walls, floors, and ceilings. They can cause paint and wallpaper to peel off the walls. Leaks can also stain the ceiling or warp and soften the floor.

If you see even small signs of water damage to the walls, floors, and ceilings, contact your plumber immediately.

Use the Water Meter Test
If you’ve checked everything out but still aren’t sure where the leak is, try shutting off your water and watching the meter. If the needle moves, the leak is in the supply line.

Review these basic tips to locate your water leak. Once you’ve successfully located the leak or determined that you have one, contact your plumber about a repair. The experienced, knowledgeable plumbers at The Clean Plumbers are happy to fix the water leak in your home as soon as you call.