How to Be a Drip Detective

Don't be fooled into thinking a minor leak is a minor problem. Even the smallest leaks can turn into costly water bills and result in major damage.

Turn Off the Water and See What Happens

Turn off the main water valve and then check the water meter outside your home. Is it still moving? If so, water is flowing somewhere and it's time to investigate.

Look at Your Water Bill

A sudden or large fluctuation in your water bill for unknown reasons could be a tip off to one or more water leaks. Even if you don’t see obvious evidence of water damage, a bigger water bill probably means water is leaking somewhere.

Use Water Detection Devices

Water detection gadgets and devices can detect water leaks or failures of appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and sump pumps.

  • Most water sensors are inexpensive and battery-powered with an alarm that sounds when water is detected. They’re easy to install yourself.
  • More sophisticated devices can automatically shut off water to an appliance or even to your entire house. Plumbers and electricians are usually needed to install this type of sensor.

Check Appliances for Leaks

Appliances are where most water leaks begin. You could prevent thousands of dollars in damage by doing a simple inspection once a year. It only takes about 10 minutes.

  • Inspect your washer, dishwasher and other water-related appliances for worn or damaged hoses at least once a year.
  • Replace any suspect hoses before they become a major water damage problem.

Check All Around the House

Just because there is no plumbing in a room doesn't mean there is no chance for water to find its way in. Water gets in from damaged roofs, seeps in through wet foundations, and can appear where you least expect it.

Understand Where Water Damage Begins

Leaks and burst hoses and pipes are the leading cause of water damage in the home. The most common reasons for leaks and bursts are:

  • Wear and tear over time
  • Water pressure that is set too high, putting stress on household plumbing

Learn how to test your home's water pressure.

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