Higher water bills or a meter that keeps running even when there is no water flowing in the home are both signs that you have a hidden water leak. The following are five common locations where these leaks can hide.
1. Outdoor Faucets
Outdoor faucets are more likely to develop leaks than indoor faucets, particularly if the water is not shut off to these taps during the winter months. The leak can occur at the faucet and hose bib itself, or a water line running underground can spring a leak. You can often find the leak by listening closely for a hissing sound when the tap is closed, or by walking the yard and looking for wet spots. Shutting down the water supply outside in the fall will help prevent outdoor faucet leaks.
Toilets can sometimes hide a leak. Leaks can occur inside the tank, in the bowl, or around the bottom seal if it fails. Cracks in the tank and bowl create obvious leaks, but less obvious leaks can occur when the bowl is constantly leaking so water must keep running to refill it. Symptoms include ghost flushes, hissing, or water running noises, and dropping bowl water levels. Often, leaks can be repaired with new seals or inner workings, but in some cases, the toilet may require replacement.
3. Water Heaters
Water heater leaks are usually obvious, and they are often the result of tank corrosion or the overflow valve. If the tank is corroded, you will need a new water heater. Overflow issues can be caused by overheating of the tank leading to pressure buildup, typically due to sedimentation or a faulty temperature regulator. Leaks in the valve itself can also be the cause. Fortunately, these issues are typically repairable.
4. Sink and Tub Faucets
No indoor faucet will last forever, but most will have a long life if repaired as soon as issues start. Faucet leaks range from annoying drips from the faucet to massive water puddles that form around the base of the taps. Faucet drips can often be fixed with a new o-ring or seal. Leaks around the base and handles may require a new seal or another minor repair. In some cases, your faucet may simply be old and corroded, which means a replacement is necessary.
5. Water Supply Lines
Leaks that form in the wall behind the shower or underneath a sink will be either from the drainpipe or the water supply line. If the leak is from the drain, then the pipe may need cleaned out, resealed, or replaced. When the water supply line is the issue, you will likely hear a hissing noise beneath the sink even when the water isn't running. Replacing the lines will solve the issue.
Contact a plumbing contractor in your area for additional info.