Leaking pipes are one of the more difficult of plumbing problems to solve. The first trouble is actually locating the leak in the first place: since most pipes are disguised behind walls, floors, and under building foundations, it’s difficult to know the exact location of the leak unless water is pouring out through a crack somewhere. Usually, there are only warning signs to show that there is leak, such as elevated water bills, the water heater running at unusual times, and warping floorboards.
Professional plumbers have all the equipment and training necessary to take care of leak detection. They will pinpoint the exact location and then manage the repairs to the pipe (which usually means replacing it) that will stop the leak.
But are there any methods that you can use to find leaks yourself? The answer is “somewhat yes—but mostly no.”
Yu can sometimes spot where leaks are occurring if the leak is creating noticeable outward signs along construction material: mold and mildew growth, cracks, discoloration spots on the wall, damps patches. But this isn’t really leak detection, since it doesn’t pinpoint the exact pipe location. Or, to put it another way, you can’t use this information to actually excavate the pipe and take care of the repairs on your own. For that, you will need professional plumbers.
So if you have suspicions of a pipe leak, and you believe you know where it is happening, you still must call on a plumber to handle full leak detection and the follow-up repairs. Home plumbing isn’t a DIY job, and you risk damaging your home and causing further plumbing issues when you attempt any repairs yourself. Licensed plumbers know how to fix leaks quickly while causing the least amount of disruption to building material.