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How to Find a Water Leak Inside a Wall

One of the biggest causes of wasted water in your home is a slow leak in your pipes, plumbing fixtures and appliances, especially water leaks behind walls. Because these leaks are generally silent, they often go undetected. Your Roto-Rooter plumber can detect and repair any water leak.

If left untreated, hidden plumbing leaks can lead to serious water damage in your home. But there are usually some subtle signs to help you identify these types of leaks, including:

  • Mold or mildew. Mold thrives in moist, dark areas, which are typically hidden behind walls or under flooring. If a pipe springs a leak, mold can begin to grow in the area. If you see mold in unusual places where water does not usually accumulate, such as non-shower walls, you may have a leaking pipe.
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper on your walls.
  • A wall that is warped or stained for no apparent reason.
  • A buckled, cracked or water-stained floor or ceiling, especially in your bathroom.
  • A musty smell. Old, accumulated water from a leaky pipe tends to have an odor. And if it’s behind a wall, it never has a chance to dry.

If you do not see obvious signs of a water leak behind walls but suspect you have one, there is an easy way to determine just that…use your water meter. Follow these guidelines for using your water meter to find hidden plumbing leaks:

  • Shut off all water-using appliances, including dishwasher, washing machine, sprinklers, etc.
  • Check your water meter and record the number (this is the number of gallons used by your home)
  • Wait at least 3 hours. Remember not to use any water in your home during this time.
  • Check the water meter again. If the number has increased, you’ve got water leaking somewhere in your home. And if you didn’t find obvious leaks from your faucets, toilets or other water-using appliances, that means you’ve probably got a hidden leak.

Of course, this test doesn’t tell you where the water leak is located. There are several common places for water leaks to occur, including toilets, beneath your kitchen or bathroom sinks, in the bath or shower; the water heater; ice maker water supply line; and washing machine hoses. However, the best course of action for finding a water leak may be to contact a professional plumber.

Roto-Rooter specializes in water leak detection services. If you suspect a water leak in wall or any other type of hidden plumbing leak, call your local Roto-Rooter plumber. And if you experience flooding or water damage due to a leak, Roto-Rooter provides full-service plumbing repair, including water damage restoration.