While leaking pipes are often best left for a plumber, there are some leaks in pipes and joints that you can tackle yourself.

Becoming a new homeowner is a significant milestone, but it also introduces an array of new responsibilities. One of these is maintaining your home’s plumbing system. While this might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re not familiar with plumbing, don’t fret! This guide will walk you through some simple steps to help you detect pipe leaks in your home. Being aware of potential issues can save you time, money, and the headache of dealing with water damage.

The Tell-Tale Signs of Leaking Pipes

Let’s play detective, shall we? One of the first clues that could lead you to a pipe leak is a sudden, unexplained increase in your water bill. Sure, it could just be due to that extra-long, hot shower you treated yourself to last Tuesday. But if your water habits have been consistent and your bill decides to scale new heights anyway, that’s your cue to start looking for leaks.

Now, leaks have a sneaky way of making their presence known. Listen carefully for the sound of running water when everything in your home is off, or the hushed whisper of a toilet constantly refilling. Keep an eye out for uninvited pools of water near your sink, tub, or toilet, or wet spots in the yard when it hasn’t rained.

Your home might even start looking different. Perhaps some wallpaper is peeling off, or the paint on your walls seems to be bubbling or cracking. That stain on your ceiling that you thought was due to your artistic kid could well be a sign of a leaking pipes. And don’t forget about that moldy, musty smell. If your home starts smelling like a damp basement, a leaking pipe could be the villain of the story.

Finally, observe your landscape. Lush patches of grass amidst an otherwise normal yard could indicate excess moisture from a leaky pipe underground. Remember, a leaky pipe plays a clever hide and seek game, but with these tell-tale signs, you’ll be ready to join in. Happy sleuthing!

Using a Water Meter to Detect Leaks

Your water meter is more than a device to gauge water usage—it can also be a valuable asset for leak detection. Here’s how to turn it into your reliable aid for leak detection. For this procedure, your task is to cease all water activities. Yes, no cleaning, no bathroom use, no watering plants.

Once the water is entirely off, your water meter comes into play. Jot down the existing reading. Then comes the challenge—patience. You need to allow an hour to pass without utilizing any water. This could be the ideal opportunity to delve into that novel you’ve been wanting to start.

Once the hour has passed, inspect the water meter once more. If the reading differs, it’s an alarm bell—a leak is present! Keep in mind, your water meter is your quiet, dependable ally, prepared to notify you about potential issues hidden in your home’s plumbing system.

leaking pipes

Checking for Leaks in Exposed Pipes

The game of hide-and-seek continues with checking out the exposed pipes in your home. Usually lurking in corners of your basement, garage, or utility rooms, these pipes don’t shy away from the spotlight. Here’s how you play detective with these out-in-the-open suspects.

Make it a routine to give these pipes a visual once-over. Look out for any signs of moisture or the rusty betrayal of a potential leak. A rusty pipe might be whispering a secret about a water leak that’s waiting to be discovered.

Want to take your investigative skills to the next level? Employ the age-old trick of the dry tissue test. Get a tissue or a cloth, ensure it’s bone-dry, and gently swipe it along the pipe. Now, inspect the cloth. If it’s even slightly damp, your pipe has been leaking tales of water waste.

So, don your detective hat and start looking for those secret leaking pipes. Remember, a good detective never ignores the seemingly obvious clues!

Investigating Hidden Leaks

The game of hide-and-seek gets trickier when it comes to hidden leaks—those sneaky offenders that lurk within walls or beneath floors. Now you might think you’re outmatched here, but don’t throw in the towel just yet! With the right tools, you can unmask these elusive leaks.

One method to expose these stealthy leaks is to use an infrared camera. This gadget, right out of a sci-fi movie, can detect changes in temperature caused by the flow of water. It’s like having X-ray vision, but for your house! You simply aim the camera at the suspected area, and if there’s a leak, it will reveal itself on the camera’s screen in a different color. However, bear in mind that these cameras can be a bit of a splurge.

So, are you ready to take on the challenge of unearthing these hidden leaks? Remember, with a keen eye for signs and the right tools, even the most concealed leak doesn’t stand a chance. So get out there and start investigating!

Repairing Leaks Yourself or Hiring a Professional

Now that you’ve discovered the leak, the question that arises is, should you roll up your sleeves and take on the repair job yourself, or should you call in the cavalry, a.k.a, a licensed plumber? A small leak, like a loose fitting, might just need a quick tightening with a wrench, and voila, problem solved! A little DIY spirit and the right tools could save you a plumbing bill.

However, keep in mind that plumbing is a tricky business. If the leak is more complex, say, hidden behind a wall or beneath your beautiful hardwood floor, it might be time to wave the white flag and call in the pros. A professional plumber has the expertise and the equipment to handle the difficult-to-reach leaks, minimizing damage to your home.

Also, let’s face it, dealing with water leaks is like being in a detective movie, and while it can be thrilling to uncover the culprit, fixing it can be a whole different ballgame. And while your detective skills are top-notch, sometimes you need a superhero to come in and save the day.

Check out our article on thawing frozen pipes


What is the most common plumbing leak?

The drain outlet of a bathtub or shower is a vulnerable point, and although it may initially be watertight, it might develop leaks with time. As these leaks advance, they can result in substantial harm. Fortunately, they are typically readily identifiable.

How do you fix a leaky pipe joint without removing it?

Self-amalgamating pipe tape forms a compression seal, efficiently addressing tiny leaks in pipes or at pipe connections. Wrap the tape around the pipe while covering the problem part. Superimpose the tape so that it clings to itself and produces a waterproof seal.

Is a leaking water pipe an emergency?

In the event of a leak, it is imperative to promptly take action by locating your stop valve and promptly shutting it off. If you are unable to locate and separate the leak, it will result in a lack of flowing water, which qualifies as an emergency pipe repair.


So don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call a professional if the leak looks complicated or if you’re unsure of what to do. Remember, a botched water line repair could end up causing more damage, and might even cost you more in the long run. Play it safe, and let the professionals handle the tougher jobs while you take care of the smaller ones.

clovis plumbing services
Why Choose Clovis Plumbing Services?

We Focus On Getting The Job Done Right the First Time!


Clovis/Fresno Ca​

Open Hours:

Mon-Sat: 7am – 5pm

Clovis Plumbing Services
Scroll to Top