Leaking pipes are a headache, but something even worse than that is a leaking pipe that lurks in the dark and goes undetected.
Those installed in inaccessible places like under the floor or behind a wall are difficult to spot. You’ll need a sharp eye and good presence of mind to identify a leak in the plumbing.
If left unnoticed, it can cause a considerable amount of damage to your house. Water dripping not just rots your wooden structures but also significantly increases your bill.
So, leaky pipes must be repaired as soon as possible. However, if you are a newbie homeowner and don’t know much about plumbing, you’ve landed at the right place.
We’ll suggest quick and easy tips to spot a leaking pipe and tell you about some ways to fix it in our informational guide. Let’s get started, shall we?
Signs Of A Hidden Leaking Pipe In Your Bathroom
Prevention is better than cure. Even if everything seems fine, cultivate a habit of routinely checking all your basins and cabinets to spot the signs of damage.
Also, it can save a lot of money spent on repairs, so let’s talk about some typical signs of leakages.
1. Low Water Pressure
Observe the water pressure of your faucet. Low pressure is sometimes caused by issues at the main supply, but that is for a short while. If you are facing difficulty with the water pressure, and water is drizzling instead of coming out in full flow, then it is likely that there’s a leakage.
Pressure decreases if water gets diverted to some other place before reaching the fixture. This is the most obvious sign of a plumbing failure.
2. An Unreasonable Increase In Your Water Bill
Everyone develops a rough estimation of their monthly water bill over time. It is generally higher during hot weather and lowers during winters. If you are mindful of your usage but still observe a sharp increase in the figures, it’s a sign that there’s a leakage.
A little trickling and drizzling doesn’t seem significant at first but can crunch up the numbers over an extended period. Additionally, you don’t know the size of the damage; it might be bigger than expected and could cause significant wastage of water.
3. Damaged Walls And Warped Floor
Persistent water leakage causes damage to the house, so look out for unusual water spots, chipping plaster, or paint flakes in the bathroom. Also, pay special attention to the corners and ceilings as they might warp or sag due to a leakage in the overhead pipes.
Be sure to check the bathroom floor regularly. Warped flooring is an obvious sign of underlying leakage, but it can be a little difficult to notice if the floor is wet. We suggest planting your foot firmly and pressing the tile; if it sags, you need to call the plumber.
4. Mould And Mildew Spots
Fungi, mould, and mildew require only a little moisture to grow and thrive. When a surface is damp for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, fungi set down their roots.
Luckily, the mould colonies have characteristic smells, and distinctive colours and hence are relatively easier to detect. However, these mildew spots are gruesome and unhygienic.
Make it your priority to get them treated on time before they fester around your walls further. A diluted bleach solution is an effective cure for it.
5. An Unexplained Odour
Along with the fungus odour, trickling water releases a musty and stale smell. Be attentive to such unusual smells because they are the best symptoms of unseen stagnant water.
Typically stagnated water smells really odd, like rotting organic matter because of hydrogen sulphide production. It can also lead to brooding larvae and houseflies.
6. Water Meter
The most reliable method to detect a leak is by monitoring the water meter. This method can be a little cumbersome but is effective regardless.
First, turn off all the water outlets, faucets, and appliances. Double-check that devices like washing machines, dishwashers, water purifiers are properly switched off.
Then go out and check the water meter. If you notice any change right off the bat, you surely have a fast-leaking crack.
In case there’s no visible change, remember the usage level and check back after one or two hours, keeping the water supply off. This will help you detect a slow-moving leak.
How To Fix A Leaking Pipe Inside A Wall
We’re done with the first half of the article. Once you master these simple techniques, you’ll be able to detect hidden leakages in no time. Now, let’s discuss fixing the inaccessible pipes yourself instead of calling a plumber.
But working out a leakage is no child’s play as it requires some skills; you can follow our step-by-step guide to have a rough idea of the process. That said, do not take up the task alone if you are a newbie.
1. Cut Out The Wall Section
Once you have correctly tracked down the exact location of the leakage, proceed ahead and cut out a section in that spot. You’ll have to use a saw or a knife to open a hole in the wall.
Do it carefully to access the pipe, and make a section of reasonable size; however, avoid making it unnecessarily big. No doubt it will be easier for fixing the tube, but you’ll have issues while sealing the wall.
2. Detect The Crack
Sometimes the leak is so minuscule that it isn’t visible at first glance, so search for it attentively. If you aren’t able to see it, then don’t worry. We have a simple trick to detect the leakage quickly.
Wrap a paper towel or sheet around the tube and swipe it all along the length slowly. The sheet will become wet at the leaking spot.
3. Chop The Pipe And Prep It
For cutting the pipe conveniently, you’ll need a professional pipe cutter. Before doing that, place a container below the pipe to collect the spilling water.
Tighten the tool around the tube, right below the leaky spot, and keep rotating until you have a cleanly cut section. Also, make sure to repeat the process above the crack.
Furthermore, clean and dry the section properly, inside out, ensuring that it is free from obstructions.
4. Mount A Repair Sleeve
A copper repair sleeve can’t be directly mounted on a pipe, meaning you’ll have to heat one end of the repair sleeve using a blowtorch. Let the soldered part melt down nicely and fit it with the pipe, sealing the joint.
Wait for another ten minutes, giving it sufficient time to cool before following the same procedure for the upper end. Once done, double-check the leak, and when you are satisfied, you can move ahead to fix the wall.
Now, you need to take proper preventive measures while using the blowtorch and work with utmost caution. Hence, don’t forget to wear safety gloves and goggles.
5. Patch Up The Wall
The major part has been done, and sealing the wall is just an aftermath of the task. Cover up the section using leftover timber from the construction if you have wooden walls, or use brick, concrete, and plaster.
It seems so far-fetched, right, all this hassle for a small leakage? So, it is far better to install a durable plumbing system, to begin with, while conducting pipe checks annually to keep troubles at bay.
Detecting A Hidden Leak In Your Bathroom
Hidden leaking pipes can be troublesome and demand immediate attention.
Good for you that we covered all the essential information required to deal with leaks in our brief yet informative guide. Are you now feeling confident enough to tackle plumbing issues on your own? Pat yourself back if the answer is yes.
However, don’t worry if you are still feeling lost about it. Try going through the guide again and refer to some other articles as well.
But remember that it is a tedious task, and you might end up accidentally damaging the pipe further. Hence, we’ll once again recommend calling for professional help as soon as you find a leakage.
With the hope that our tips and tricks will help you in the long run, we’ll sign off. See you next time with another handy little guide on other important topics.
Goodbye and happy plumbing!