Water leaks can be caused by a variety of factors and must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid serious damage to the home’s foundation and overall structure. One problem homeowners face in dealing with frustrating water leaks is that the leaks are often hidden and go undetected until the damage is done.

Whether the excess water is coming from the back of a washing machine, the water heater, or the home’s plumbing system, the consequences of finding hidden water leaks too late include mold growth, wood rot, subfloor damage, and more.

In addition to costly repairs and potential health hazards, hidden leaks also cause serious water loss, which contributes to high water bills and excessive water waste. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a leaking shower head that loses 10 drips of water each minute equals a total water loss of 500 gallons per year.

While hidden plumbing leaks can be difficult to detect, there are certain spots throughout the home where water is more likely to hide. Here are five common locations where you may find hidden water leaks. If you do locate a hidden leak, AP Plumbing offers consistency with all service calls, and our technicians are highly experienced with leak repairs in Syracuse, NY.

1. Beneath a Loose or Wobbling Toilet

A loose or wobbling toilet may indicate a hidden water leak. This is due to the fact that the wax ring around the base of the toilet connects to the plumbing system in the flooring. When the wax softens over time, it sometimes loses its ability to prevent water from leaking onto the subflooring. In addition to a wobbly toilet, other signs of a leaking toilet include pooling water and subfloor rot.

2. Beneath the Kitchen Sink

While you may think a slow drip would be easy to hear when coming from beneath the sink, the reality is that these drips often go undetected until a musty smell becomes apparent. The odor is due to mold or mildew growth, and the dark space beneath the sink can allow the pooling water to go unnoticed for extended periods of time, making it difficult to find these hidden water leaks.

3. Behind the Washing Machine

The area behind your home washing machine is another common place to consider when you’re determining where to check for hidden leaks. These leaks occur when the hoses that attach to the water valves in the wall behind the machine are loose. Something like this can happen during installation or when the rubber washers inside the coupling fail. Indications of a slow leak include a musty or moldy smell and water pooling around the back of the machine.

4. Inside Your HVAC Unit

Your HVAC system is another place to find hidden water leaks. Clogged drain lines inside the unit can lead the drip pan to overflow, which can cause mold buildup and damage to the exterior of the HVAC system. If you notice a moldy odor when running the air conditioning or heat, a water leak may be to blame.

5. Behind an Outdoor Water Faucet

Whether your outdoor faucet connects to an irrigation system or you only use it sparingly, it’s important to ensure that all pipes are connected as tightly as possible. The spot beneath the siding is where you should check for hidden leaks that present as water dripping down the inside of the wall. If not detected early, this can lead to severe sheathing damage.

How to Check for Leaks With Your Water Meter

Another way to find hidden leaks is by checking your water meter. The first step is to turn off all the water in your home. Read the water meter and record the reading. Wait an hour and check the meter again. If the meter indicates water usage when all water sources have been shut off, this can point to a hidden leak.

If you suspect a water leak, it’s imperative to get to the source and remedy the issue as soon as possible to avoid costly damage. AP Plumbing offers plumbing repairs in Syracuse, NY, and our professional team members are standing by to assist with leak detection and repair to ensure your home is safe and dry. Contact us today to schedule service.

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