What are Leak Detection Services?

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What are Leak Detection Services?

by | Nov 3, 2017 | Bathroom Plumbing Help, Kitchen Plumbing Help, Plumbing Help

Leaks can form anywhere in your home. While it’s often easy to notice a leaky toilet or faucet, detecting those leaks that you can’t see is vitally important.

At All Clear Plumbing, we offer the best and most technologically advanced methods of leak detection in the Upstate. Since leaks can form in areas vital to everyday life, detection is a key to preventing small leaks from growing in size and in expense. The importance can’t be stressed enough as water damage is one of the most costly repairs you can make in your home.

Our plumbers have an average experience of 25 years of service in the industry. They know a variety of techniques to perform leak detection, whether it’s through electricity, nitrogen or fluorescent dye.

slab leak detection and repair

Warning signs of a leak

While leaks that you can’t see are obviously hard to detect, there are some warning signs that could be telling you to call us to come and check out the situation. Those are:

  • Higher water bills
  • Water spots on the ceiling
  • Damp walls
  • Puddles in the floor or wet spots in the carpet

If you can hear water flowing in your home and nothing’s turned on, that’s a definite sign of a leak. Following the sound can narrow down where the leak is emanating from.

For a homeowner, there is no easy do-it-yourself leak test for a suspected water leak. A water leak can happen just about anywhere in a home where plumbing exists and are frustrating to deal with.

But they need to be dealt with.

Undiagnosed water leaks in houses around the country cost the United States over one trillion gallons of clean water each year. Fixing water leaks saves homeowners an average of 10 percent on their water bill.

All Clear leak detection

While every licensed or experienced plumber should have the skills to perform a leak detection, All Clear has the right equipment and experienced plumbing crews to master it.

Sometimes a leak is in a slab and water line are buried in that concrete. That means we have to use leak-detection equipment.

There are multiple types of leak-detection equipment. A leak that is underground or a slab water leak will need special ground-penetrating equipment. For detecting water leaks in slabs, rather than jack-hammering your concrete floor, All Clear uses sonar-based technology. That audio-based detector follows the sound of the leak until we can pinpoint with relative accuracy where the leak is happening and cause minimal damage to the property.

Slab leaks are the worst and more expensive to repair. Luckily, slab water leaks are relatively rare.

When it comes to accurate leak detection, absolute silence may be the biggest key. Our plumbers will likely ask you to unplug appliances and turn off the air conditioning or heat. Even the barely audible hum of a refrigerator can interrupt the reading. This obviously means we really can’t use this equipment outdoors, at least not near any road.

We are listening for the vibration from the water leaving the pipe out of whatever hole has happened and that is a very small sound, so we need nothing vibrating or causing audio waves anywhere near.

When the sonar leak detection can’t be utilized, our plumbers go about it the old-fashioned way. That sometimes means crawling under the house and searching, or following the sound to a wall and unfortunately, cutting into the drywall.

Making the fix

Once our plumbing crews have accessed the leaking water pipe, repairing it is relatively easy and inexpensive. Details of the repair will vary depending on the type of pipe. In fact, some types of pipe are easier to repair than others.

Whatever the type of pipe, the plumber will start by cutting out the bad section of pipe. They will then connect new pipe to replace the old.
On rare occasions, the pipe repair causes a new leak further down. This happens most often with copper pipes that have worn thin. In this case, our plumber may recommend a complete installation of a new pipe.

A repair typically holds the first time and plumbers will know if the pipe is leaking again within moments of turning the water back on.

All Clear Plumbing gets, “My toilet is leaking!” calls daily. We are confident that we can solve any toilet leak related problem, but “a leaking toilet” is not enough information to diagnose the problem. A lot can break on a toilet from top to bottom, inside and out. But never fear, we have a complete guide to leaky toilets right here.

Toilet Leaks

Not all invisible leaks can be in the walls or underground. Sometimes toilets can be leaking on the inside with no sign of water on the surrounding floor. Again, the best warning sign here is a toilet that continues to make some kind of running sound well after it’s been flushed and/or a higher water bill.

My toilet is leaking

A running toilet is usually a sign of worn out parts. Water, especially moving water, can break down nearly any material over time. Think about those smooth river rocks in a stream. Now, imagine how plastic and metal fare over several years. There are several working parts in a toilet as well.

Regardless of what failing tank part is causing a leak, All Clear recommends that if you are replacing one part, you should replace them all. Typically, these parts get installed at the same time and start to go bad at the same rate. Therefore, it is often prudent to do what we call a “tank rebuild.”

There’s one definite way to confirm if there is actually a leak in your toilet. Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Don’t flush for several hours afterward. If you come back to find colored water in the bowl, you have a leak.

A toilet that leaks at the base can damage flooring quickly, so don’t let this type of leak go on for too long. It needs immediate attention.

Leaks at the toilet base are typically caused by either a broken wax seal or loose toilet bolts. If you have recently installed a new toilet, and there is a leak from the base of the toilet then you might want to try tightening the toilet bolts first. This takes two seconds and simple tools, so it is always worth checking. If you can move the bolts with just the strength of your hand, they are definitely too loose.

A leaking wax seal on a toilet or what is sometimes called a broken seal on a toilet can usually be fixed by replacing the wax ring. Sometimes the leak will only happen during a flush, but it is important to make sure you figure out the real cause of the leak. Sometimes we think that the toilet is leaking from the base, but it is actually water dripping down the outside of the toilet.
Toilets leak at the base more during a flush because of the pressure being pushed through the flange. If the flange itself breaks, you definitely need to call All Clear.

Don’t allow leaks to grow

The average family can waste 180 gallons of water each week, or 9,360 gallons of water per year, on household leaks. That’s enough water for more than 300 loads of laundry. Leaks can waste nearly 900 billion gallons of water each year nationwide. That total would be enough to provide the average amount of water usage for nearly 11 million homes.

Be proactive and check for leaks in your plumbing regularly.

And when you can’t see one, but you know something’s wrong please don’t hesitate to call All Clear Plumbing at 864-979-7059.

Since 2012, All Clear has provided the best plumbing repair and drain cleaning services in the Upstate! We pride ourselves in being an old-school plumbing company your grandfather would recognize.

Article Author: Anja Smith

Managing Partner

Anja Smith is the author behind the All Clear Plumbing blog. She also writes regularly for Plumber Magazine, TradeBizToolbox.com, and on Medium

Friendly staff, same day service, and expertise! They were able to handle a situation that another plumber was stumped over. Highly recommend!!!

Amy W.

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