Three Clever Ways to Check for Plumbing Leaks

November 30, 2015

Plumbing leaks can waste a lot of water and seriously damage your home, so promptly finding and fixing leaks as they happen is important. Some links are immediately noticeable and easily fixed, but other leaks are hidden and more difficult to detect. A wise plumber in Brooklyn will have a few clever ways to check for leaks, and you can use these methods to find leaks that would otherwise go undetected.

Food Coloring

Toilet leaks can sometimes be hard to detect, but they can also lead to the largest amounts of water being wasted. A leak can occur where the toilet tank leaks into the bowl. The water only shuts off to the toilet tank when the water level passes a certain point, but with a leak, the water will just keep running. To find out if your toilet is leaking, add about 6 drops of food coloring to the tank, do not flush the toilet, and wait 30 seconds. Open the lid to the toilet bowl, and if there is any amount of coloring present, your toilet is leaking and requires some attention. It is important to not try this method for other types of leaks, as the food coloring can stain other materials.

Water Meter

Most homes have a water meter located in their front yard near the curb. This meter keeps track of the amount of water used by a household since the meter was installed, and it can be used to determine whether a house has plumbing leaks or not. First, designate a large segment of a day in which you will not use any water in your home. Then, head to the water meter and write down the number it shows. At the end of the water-less segment, go back to the water meter and take a second reading. If the second reading is greater than the first, one or more leaks are present.


Infrared cameras function much like regular cameras, except that rather than recording how much light reflects off of objects, it reflects how much heat is emitted by objects. Infrared is also capable of seeing cold or warm objects on the other side of thin walls. This can be useful for locating leaks, because even if a leak occurs within a wall, the wet areas will be colder and show up on infrared cameras. You may not be willing to fork out the money to own such a camera yourself, but some companies will do an infrared scan of your home for you.


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