Water leaks can be hard to find on their own, but when you add dry wall your problems can be compounded. If you think you have a leak, only an expert plumber will know how to find a water leak inside a wall and the methods they use for detection.

How You Can Detect a Water Leak Inside a Wall DIY

Changes in water usage as indicated by your water meter can indicate a problem. If you have noticed drops in water pressure, your hot water heater or boiler are always on, or you hear dripping water when faucets/fixtures are turned off, chances are there’s a leak.

If you have noticed these and other unusual signs in your home, here’s how to find a water leak inside a wall, even if it’s not visible:

  • Listen for Water Sounds: One way to detect a leak in a wall is to use your hearing. Water pipes are generally silent. But if you hear dripping or a rushing water sound and your taps are turned off, it’s a clear sign of a leak. Call a plumber fast to minimize the amount of damage. The challenge is if the water is moving along a wall stud, which can dampen any noise that would signal an urgent problem.
  • Discolored Walls: Yellow or brown water stains can appear on walls and ceilings if there’s a leak occurring behind the drywall. By then, the water has soaked through the material. In this case, prompt leak detection is important because the loose connection, hole, or break in the pipe may be in a different place than where the stain is on the surface.
  • Warped Paint/Wallpaper: Wet drywall can cause the paint on the other side to bubble. It can also cause bulges in wallpaper because it can no longer stick to the moist surface. A bulge in the wallboard itself is a sign of extensive damage. At this point, you not only need to fix the leaking pipe, but also replace the damaged wallboard and likely other materials.
  • Moldy/Musty Odors: Many leaks start small. This creates a problem because, as they continue, the environment may be just humid enough for mold to grow. Since mold flourishes in dark, humid environments, it can grow continuously inside the wall without being seen. A musty smell is the telltale sign this is taking place.
  • Use a Leak Detector: Technology can help if you suspect a leak but don’t have sensory proof. Leak detection tools work in various ways. Some attach to a tap and monitor water temperature. The good thing is if evidence of a leak is detected, the device gives you an alert (even on your smartphone depending on the model).

Determine Where the Leak Is Coming From

If there is a leak inside a wall, it’s not a sure bet that your plumbing is the source. A roof leak can allow water to seep into the walls and appear in the same manners as, for example, water from a broken pipe. Poor window seals can also allow water in. These are all situations in which you should call a professional to identify the source of the leak, as it can do substantial damage in a short amount of time.

Contact Express Plumbing Heating & Air

Determining the source of a water leak is critical in avoiding expensive damage. Whether the leak is coming from a pipe, toilet, water heater tank, or appliance, our technicians know how to find a water leak inside a wall and fix it fast. The #1 plumbing company in Boise, we work throughout the Treasure Valley to provide fast leak detection and repair. We’re available 24/7 and can often respond in less than 30 minutes. Call (208) 398-0309 immediately if you have a water leak.

Brad Jordan

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