Small drips can turn not only into wasted water and increased utility costs but also into a nightmare water damage insurance claim. The EPA says 10% of homes have water leaks that exceed 80+ gallons/day. Yes, per DAY.
Some leaks are visible and can be taken care of, but other leaks can be covered and unknown to homeowners. These are the ones more likely to cause unforeseen structural damage to your home but there are ways to detect them before that happens.
How can you find these hidden leaks before they cause damage? Check these places:
- your water bill - Watch to see if your usage increases over time, indicating a possible hidden leak.
- your water meter - See if it's moving even when you're not using any water.
- your toilet's flapper - this is the #1 spot for a water leak and is easily fixed by replacing that part.
What if your water meter is running and you can't find any obvious drips/leaks?
You can buy a water leak detector. Some are wired, others are wireless. There are now smart water leak detectors with a variety of features and operate through an app connected to your phone. They monitor moisture, temperature, and humidity and can tell you in real time if there is a change in them, signifying an issue.
Place them in areas more likely to experience a leak (hot water heater, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher) to alert you before it turns into a major issue. Some even have an automatic shutoff feature to limit sudden leaks and prevent it from creating significant damage.
Although it takes a little effort, it's worth monitoring your water usage to maintain the integrity of your indoor plumbing. But, if you experience a sudden major leak, turn off your water at your water main immediately to prevent further damage, and contact your insurance agent for guidance on next steps.