Signs Of Plumbing Leaks And Using Smoke Testing To Find Them

You could have tiny cracks in your plumbing pipes and not even know it. Even though they are tiny, they can lead to very costly repairs. Water dripping can appear in many places in your home and cause damage to your flooring and walls, and create a place for mold to flourish.  If these tiny cracks turn into larger ones, this may require even more expensive repairs by a plumber. Fortunately, tiny cracks can be found without much effort by smoke testing. Below are some signs that you have a leak, as well as some information about smoke testing so you can better understand how it works.

Signs You Have a Leak

If you have a plumbing leak in your home, there are many signs you will see. First of all, you will likely see a significant increase in your water bill for no apparent reason. You may also hear the water meter continuously ticking even if water is not being used in your home.

Foundation cracks are common if your home is older because of settling. If you see cracks in your foundation and your home is newer, however, this is a sign of leak. This is because the water can weaken the foundation. You could also see cracks on the walls and ceiling inside your home.

You may see damp spots near the toilets, tubs, and sinks. If so, mold and mildew will likely be growing there, and the flooring will look discolored.

Smoke Testing for Plumbing Pipe Leaks Procedure

The plumber will use blowers to force artificial, non-toxic smoke through the plumbing pipes while the pipes are under a slight pressure.  If leaks are found, the plumber will see plumes of smoke. Besides testing older pipes for leaks, plumbers use this test when new plumbing is installed in a home to make sure there are no loose connections in the joints.

Smoke Testing for Sewer Gas Leaks

Smoke testing is also used to detect sewer gas leaks that may plague a home or a building. Any sign of the smoke escaping can be a possible site for the sewer gas escaping. If you have a sewer gas smell at your home, there will be a rotten egg odor. This gas can also contain methane gas, which is explosive, or hydrogen sulfide gas that is deadly.

Other Leaks a Plumber Can Detect

A plumber can also use smoke testing to detect things like broken or damaged toilet seats, plumbing traps under kitchen and bathroom sink, and plumbing vent leaks.

Contact your plumber if you see any signs that you have a leak. They can go over the process of smoke testing with you in much more details. Visit a plumbing professional's website for additional reading.