How to Detect a Water Leak in Your Home: A Comprehensive Guide

Water leaks in your home can lead to a multitude of issues. Not only can they cause structural damage to your property, but they can also lead to excessive water bills. Detecting a water leak early is crucial to prevent these problems. In this post, we will guide you on how to detect a water leak in your home.

Why is Detecting a Water Leak Important?

A water leak is a common problem that homeowners may face. However, many leaks go unnoticed until it’s too late. Detecting a water leak early can prevent:

  • Structural damage: Prolonged exposure to water can cause significant damage to your home’s structure, including rotting wood, crumbling drywall, and weakened foundations.
  • Mould and mildew growth: Excess moisture from a leak can create a perfect environment for mould and mildew, which can cause health issues.
  • Wasted water and high utility bills: Leaks can waste a significant amount of water, leading to unnecessarily high water bills.

Signs of a Water Leak

Here are some signs that can help you detect a water leak in your home:

1. Unusually High Water Bills

If your water bills are unusually high without any apparent reason, it might indicate a water leak. Monitor your water bills and keep an eye out for any unexpected spikes in usage.

2. Changes in Water Meter

Your water meter can be a helpful tool in detecting a water leak. To check:

  1. Turn off all water-using appliances and faucets in your home.
  2. Take a reading of your water meter and note it down.
  3. Wait for an hour without using any water in your house.
  4. Check the meter again. If it has changed, there’s likely a leak.

3. Wet Spots and Water Stains

Visible wet spots on your floors, walls, or ceilings can indicate a leak. Similarly, water stains, peeling paint, or warped walls and ceilings can also be signs of a hidden water leak.

4. Unusual Sounds of Running Water

If you can hear the sound of running water when no appliances or faucets are on, it may be due to a water leak.

5. Mildew or Musty Odours

Persistent musty smells, especially in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or kitchens, may suggest a hidden water leak causing mould or mildew growth.

Detecting Different Types of Leaks

1. Faucet Leaks

Faucet leaks are usually easy to spot. If your faucet drips even when turned off, you have a leak.

2. Toilet Leaks

To detect a toilet leak:

  1. Add a few drops of food colouring to the toilet tank.
  2. Wait for about 30 minutes without flushing.
  3. If the colour shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.

3. Hidden Pipe Leaks

Detecting hidden pipe leaks can be challenging. However, using an infrared thermometer to scan your walls can help. Cold spots can indicate a leak.

What to Do if You Detect a Water Leak?

If you detect a water leak, it’s important to act promptly:

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply: To prevent further damage, shut off the water supply if the leak is severe.
  2. Contact a Professional: Minor leaks, like a dripping faucet, can often be fixed DIY. However, for major leaks or leaks you can’t locate, it’s best to contact a professional.

At Unlimited Plumbing Group, we offer expert leak detection and repair services. Our team is trained to handle all types of leaks with minimal disruption to your property.


Detecting a water leak early can save you from a lot of trouble down the line. By staying vigilant and monitoring your home for signs of a leak, you can catch and address issues before they cause significant damage.

Remember, when in doubt, it’s always best to call in the professionals. Contact us at Unlimited Plumbing Group if you suspect a water leak in your home. We’re here to ensure your plumbing system stays in perfect working condition.

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