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leaking pipe in the wall

How To Detect a Leaking Pipe in the Wall

Have a few plumbing issues you need to resolve? Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. offers emergency services. 

One of the most insidious causes of water damage is a leaking pipe in the wall. Since you can’t see it, you might fail to register its existence. However, this hidden danger can persist, wreaking havoc on your home’s structures.

The sooner a skilled plumber in Milton, MA, locates the leak, the better. The team at Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. outlines how to detect hidden pipe leaks below.  

What Causes Hidden Leaks?

Pipe leaks develop for a myriad of reasons:

  • Age-related deterioration: Do you have an old home with its original plumbing? The pipe materials will gradually corrode, leaving weakened areas. Once these corroded areas become too thin, water can seep out of the pipe, creating a slow, subtle leak. 
  • Foundational shifts: The ground beneath your home moves as dirt settles or groundwater rises. You won’t notice these shifts. However, they put pressure on the foundation. In turn, your plumbing network can develop fractures from the added stress.
  • Fluctuating temperatures: Temperatures constantly rise and fall according to the changing seasons. When water freezes, it expands and ruptures the pipes. 
  • Water pressure: High water pressure can fracture pipe material, especially as the pipe ages and weakens.

Detecting a Leaking Pipe in the Wall

Hidden leaks have noticeable consequences, such as high water bills and unexplainable water stains on floors, walls, and ceilings. If you suspect a pipe has sprung a leak, use the following leak detection methods to determine its existence and location. 

Inspect for Damage

Look for visual signs that indicate the presence of water. Check your walls, floors, and ceilings for stains or discoloration. You might notice a yellowish-brown outline in certain areas where water expands. Touch the structures to see if they feel damp to your fingers. 

Ceiling and wall moisture can make the affected surfaces feel soft. They may bulge slightly where the water pools. Floors may have puddles of standing water. The flooring materials may buckle or warp. 

Check the Water Meter

Your water meter tells the story of your home’s water usage. You can find it on one of the outside walls of your home. Use it to determine your water usage by:

  1. Checking and recording the number presently displayed on the meter
  2. Turning off all plumbing fixtures, such as sinks, tubs, and showers
  3. Double-checking the water meter to see if the number has risen

Did the displayed number increase despite cutting the fixtures’ water supply? If so, you may have a leaking pipe in the wall.

Purchase a Moisture or Humidity Meter

You can purchase a humidity or moisture meter at most home improvement retailers. These tools detect the amount of moisture within a given area. Most structural materials, such as drywall and concrete, will have a reading of less than one percent. 

A higher reading indicates the presence of a hidden leak. Read the instructions that accompany the tool. Get readings from other areas of your home first to determine a normal moisture level for your indoor environment. Then, check the area of the suspected leak.  

Listen for Dripping Sounds

Sometimes, you can hear trickling or dripping sounds from the leak. Turn off all your plumbing fixtures to ensure the leak doesn’t come from other rooms. Then, listen carefully for the sounds of slowly moving water. 

Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum

If you have a wet/dry vacuum available, you can use it to locate wall leaks. Position the suction element along the base of the wall. Power the vacuum on. Did the vacuum suck up any moisture? You likely have a leak behind the wall. 

Verify With a Skilled Plumber

A tried and true method for determining a leak’s presence involves assistance from a professional plumber. They can perform a pipe inspection with their expertise and the equipment they have on hand. Even if the tests you administered showed no evidence of a leak, you should still seek professional assistance.

Hidden leaks can destroy all structures they reach. The restoration process becomes more complex and expensive. Additionally, the dangers of a prolific mold infestation increase significantly, endangering your family’s health. Don’t wait to locate and resolve leaks. 

Contact Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. for Emergency Services

Concerned you have a leaking pipe in the wall? Find out for sure. Contact Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. for prompt assistance. While you wait for your appointment, learn about the tools plumbers use to conduct their services. 

Call Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. at 781-236-3421 for comprehensive plumbing and HVAC services.


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