Have you noticed that your water bill is rising? The culprit is usually a hidden leak somewhere in the house. There are a lot of sources of water and appliances in your home that might be the cause of a leak. Here are 12 of the most common household water leaks. Work through this list to see if you can find the source of your wasted water.
1. Toilet Leaks
Toilets that are constantly running may never spill a drop of water on the floor but may waste a tremendous amount of water simply into the sewer. Toilet leaks are often among the most expensive in the sheer amount of water wasted, so it is a good place to check first. Simply listen to see if the water is still running after you’ve flushed the toilet. You can temporarily fix this problem by shutting off the water valve near the base of the toilet and only turning it on to flush the toilet. However, you’ll need a plumber to fix the problem for good.
2. Faucet Leaks
There are a ton of faucets in your home that may also be the source of a mysterious water leak. Checking for these leaks is as simple as walking around and listening for drips. You can also look for signs that the faucet was recently dripping, like water in the basin. Leaks from faucets are often problems with the faucet itself, or it may be the result of hard water or pressure problems. A plumber can tell you whether you need to replace the whole faucet or not.
3. Hose Leaks
Your irrigation system or your outdoor hose may also be the source of a leak. If it is just the hose, the source of the water should be obvious. You may need to replace the hold or the fixture itself. However, it may be a bit trickier to spot leaks in irrigation systems. There may be a leak in a sprinkler head or an underground line. You’ll want a professional to help you troubleshoot these leaks.
4. Pool Leaks
Water damage in your landscape may not be the result of a water leak from the home or the irrigation system. Pools may leak, and without causing an increase in your water bill either, as they do not refill themselves. Instead, you may find that the water level in the pool is low.
5. Supply Line Leaks
What about when there is water damage in a ceiling or wall, that is not necessarily from any specific fixture or appliance? This may be a leak in the plumbing supply lines themselves. These carry water to the faucets and other water destinations, and you typically can’t see them. This means you may only notice these leaks when they start to soak through the drywall.
6. Tub Leaks
Do you notice that the bathroom, or a room below the bathroom, seems to develop a leak only after someone uses the tub or, more rarely, the shower? In this case, the leak may be the tub or shower itself. A crack or hole in the tub or floor of the shower itself may be leaking your water onto the floor or down to the story below. If it stops leaking a while after your shower or bath, you can be fairly certain about this one, but you may still need a plumber to fix it.
7. Whole House Humidifier Leaks
A whole house humidifier is hooked up to your furnace. It creates humidity using a pan or a stream of water. Sometimes they can break down and start pouring water onto the floor. Or, if you’ve just had a new one installed, then the runoff from the humidifier may not have been directed properly into the drain and may end up on your floor.
8. Appliance Seal Leaks
Have you noticed a puddle of water near your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, or another appliance? The issues may be the seal on the appliance. Or, the appliance itself may be malfunctioning. A plumber can narrow down the source of this problem and potentially fix it. Although, it could be a manufacturer defect or another issue that is best referred to someone else.
9. Pipe Joint Leaks
Pipe joints are the spots where one length of pipe connects with another. The pipe overlaps for a considerable length, and there is adhesive to make a seal. However, pipe joints are more likely to develop leaks than other spots on the pipe. You likely won’t be able to see the joint in question, unless it’s under the sink, as they are typically in the walls.
10. Water Heater Leaks
Water heaters, especially the tank kinds, tend to develop leaks. Often the tank itself develops holes after a decade or more of service, and unfortunately, the best thing to do in this case it to replace the whole water heater. Other problems, like leaking valves and broken seals, may be repairable. Tankless water heaters are less likely to develop these kinds of leaks so that they may be a great replacement option for you.
11. Washing Machine Leaks
As far as appliances go, washing machines are very likely culprits for leaks. They are often caused by a tilted overflow tube, which is a simple fix. Or, it may be caused by a clog within the machine that causes it to overflow onto the floor. This can hurt your water bill, your clothing, and it can cause more damage to the machine itself. Your plumber can let you know if it can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced.
12. Sink Leaks
As with leaks in tubs and showers, sinks themselves can leak too. This may be due to damage, corrosion, or a crack in the sink itself. The best option here is often to replace the basin.
Not sure what kind of leak you have? Your first step should be to reach out to a plumber you trust to help you find the problem.