Safe water is something that most Americans take for granted. Whether supplied by a private water well or through a connection to a public water system, most households have access to a constant supply of inexpensive water.
However, if the water bill is steadily climbing or the home's private water well pump seems to be running more often than it normally does, the plumbing system may be suffering from a latent leak that must be addressed. Homeowners who are noting these symptoms in their own home can use this information to help them find and cure their plumbing problem.
Check for hidden leaks in the home's structure
The first places to check for hidden plumbing leaks includes any concealed areas where plumbing pipes are located, such as crawl spaces and basements. Using a flashlight, look carefully at the plumbing lines and any building materials that surround them for signs of a leak, such as drips, dampness, insulation and drywall discoloration, including mold or mildew growth.
If a quick visual inspection does not show the existence of a leak, homeowners can try turning off all water taps and all sources of sound in the home, such as fans and entertainment equipment. Once the home is as quiet as possible, it may then be possible to hear audible signs of a hidden water leak by listening carefully in each room and area of the home.
If no indications of a water leak is noted inside the home through these simple tests, the problem may be located outside the home in the pipes that connect the home to the public water system or the one that connects it to the home's private water well.
Check for hidden leaks outside the home
Homeowners who need to determine whether an exterior plumbing pipe is broken or leaking outside the home can do so by turning off the main water supply to the home. This valve is usually located just inside the home at the point where water service enters the exterior wall, before it branches off to go to various areas of the home.
Once the main water supply is turned off, homeowners connected to a public water supply can discern if there is a leak by removing the cover of their water meter and observing to see if water is still being metered. If a leak outside the home exists in a system fed by a private water well, the pump will continue to cycle even though the main water supply to the home is turned off.
Homeowners who find evidence of a water leak or continue to suspect they have one can solve the issue by consulting with a reputable plumbing services contractor in their area.