How Do I Detect a Water Leak in My House?

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Have you noticed an unexpected and unexplainable spike in your water bill? Maybe you’re worried that a water leak could be lurking just below the surface.

While burst pipes are certainly dramatic, it’s often the slow, concealed water leaks that do the most damage. They can gradually chip away at your bills and cause destructive water damage in one fell swoop.

If you want to check for a water leak at home, you can always call a professional plumber. For a reliable team of plumbers in Hurstville, Cronulla or across Sydney, reach out to All Needs Plumbing.

Alternatively, here’s what you do to spot a water leak yourself.

The Meter Method

The meter method should be your first port of call when looking for a water leak. If there aren’t any obvious signs of a leak (like dripping, water underneath your sink, and warped surfaces), then your meter may be able to uncover the truth.

Start by locating your meter and taking a reading. Then wait 10-15 minutes before taking another reading. In the interim, make sure you don’t use any water. If your water meter consistently ticks up during the 10-15-minute waiting period, then you probably have a leak on your hands.

The Best Method for Finding a Water Leak Under the Floor Indoors

Underfloor leaks can be difficult to locate without ripping up your flooring. However, there are ways to find these hidden leaks.

Examine your floors closely and look for wet areas, damage, or warping. As well as the floors, look at the bottom of your walls to see if any of the damage has spread to those areas.

The Best Method for Finding a Water Leak Under Concrete Outdoors

Are you worried about leaks underneath your concrete in the garage or outdoors? The first thing to do is look for obvious signs of pooling water around your concrete surfaces. You might find pools of water running down your driveway or on flat concrete surfaces.

If there is no visible water, cracks in your concrete or pavers might also indicate a leak, especially if you can’t pinpoint another reason for the damage. If a patch of concrete is warm, this could also indicate the presence of a leak. 

You can also look at any grass surrounding the concrete. If one patch of grass is greener than the rest, or the dirt has turned to mud, then you probably have a leak in an underground pipe. 

To confirm the presence of a leak in an underground pipe, you might benefit from a professional CCTV pipe inspection. A plumber can send tiny cameras into your pipes to locate blockages, pipe damage, and the source of a leak.

Whether you need a team of plumbers in Kogarah or in Engadine, All Needs Plumbing can assist you. For CCTV pipe inspections and all related services across Sydney, contact our team today.

How Do You Find a Leak Inside a Wall?

A visual inspection will be the best course of action for finding a leak behind a wall. Concealed water leaks are characterised by damp patches, peeling wallpaper and paint, unexplained stains, and warping around the walls and ceiling.

Excess condensation, moisture and mould may also begin to develop due to a concealed water leak in the wall. Look for these signs around your walls, cornices, ceiling, and nearby windowsills.

As well as looking for leaks, you can also sometimes smell them. If you can smell a stale and musty scent that grows stronger when you’re close to certain walls and ceilings, a leak is likely to blame.

Professional Water Leak Detection Tools

If you would like a method for detecting water leaks like a pro, you could invest in some professional water leak detection equipment.

Two of the most common tools for locating water leaks are thermal imaging and acoustic tools. As the names suggest, acoustic tools detect sounds in your pipes while thermal imaging tools use thermal cameras that can penetrate concrete, foundations, and more.

There are several other high-tech and low-tech options available, and a professional plumber will be well-equipped to accurately locate a leak in your property. Whether you’re looking for a team of plumbers in Rockdale or leak detection plumbers in Miranda, All Needs Plumbing can help. Save yourself the expense of buying leak detection tools upfront and trust the professionals to quickly locate the source of your leak.

I Think I’ve Found a Water Leak… What Do I Do Next?

There are three keys to dealing with a water leak.

1. Act Quickly

2. Act Carefully

3. Know Your Limits 

Acting quickly is the first and most important step. A water leak will only become more damaging the longer it’s left to develop. Once you’ve found one, you need to make decisions quickly. Turn your water supply off and decide if you want to call a plumber or handle the situation yourself. 

Acting carefully is important as making the wrong move could make the water leak worse. For example, you might be trying to tighten a tap but end up over tightening it. This could lead to more damage to the tap and a more expensive repair.

Knowing your limits is extremely important with a water leak. The only leaks you should attempt to fix yourself are local leaks in the tap or toilet. If it just involves replacing a few common parts (like a washer) and tightening a few connections, you can attempt it yourself. Otherwise, it's best to call a plumber.

If you’ve started the job yourself but you discover that you’re out of your depth, the best thing you can do is stop and call a professional.

How Much Does Professional Leak Detection and Repair Cost in Sydney?

Water leaks come in all shapes and sizes, meaning the cost of detection and repair can vary greatly. For example, if you have a leaking tap or a running toilet, you might get your system repaired for a bit over $100. On top of this, you will need to account for call-out fees and the cost of any parts that are used for the job.

If your leaking pipe is underground or behind a wall, more intensive work may be required. The process of finding and fixing a leaking pipe may involve several different services, each of which can increase your overall plumbing bill.

Just some of the work that may be required includes:

What Are the Costs of Leaving a Leak Untreated?


Professional leak detection and repair may seem expensive, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of a leak that’s left to wreak havoc on your home.

As well as sending up your water bills, a persistent leak could cause water damage that affects the structure of your property. This could leave you needing serious and expensive building repairs.

Leaks can also affect the way your plumbing system functions as a whole, which could damage your plumbing appliances and fixtures, as well as your pipes.

Water leaks can also damage your floors, your outdoor concrete surfaces, and your garden. Leaks may also attract insects, rodents, and other pests, as well as causing recurring mould growth.

If your water leak somehow comes into contact with electricity, it could result in electrical failures or even house fires.

As you can see, fixing a leak quickly only requires a plumber. 

But ignoring a leak may require services from pest control experts, builders, electricians, mould treatment professionals, and even emergency services!

Water Leak Causes – A Checklist

  • Damaged plumbing fixtures
  • Faulty appliances
  • Blocked drains
  • Tree roots
  • Cracked hot water units
  • Broken toilets
  • Cracked pipes
  • Worn or damaged main water line connection
  • Broken seals
  • Corroded plumbing systems
  • Overly high water pressure
  • Rapid changes in temperature  

Call a Local Plumber Today

Are you looking for a plumber in Sydney to help you with water leaks? For a free quote and all the services that you need, call 1300 110 230 or enquire online today.

Available 24/7 For Emergency