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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

How Do I Know I Have Hidden Leaks When They’re Hidden?


This is a good question, and it’s one people often ask when confronted with the idea of “hidden leaks.” The truth is that most leaks in a home’s plumbing are not in easy sight, since much of the plumbing is disguised in the walls or in the ceilings. Only a few pipes are easy to see, such as the drainpipe directly underneath a sink (and even then leaks can go unnoticed if there’s too much stored there). 

Finding and repairing hidden leaks is a job for professional plumbing in Laguna Niguel, CA. Our technicians can locate hidden leaks, even those buried down in a concrete foundation, using the best available technology. But in this post, we’re going to help you notice when you have hidden leaks. They do leave a number of indicators they’re around.

Spots of discoloration on the walls or ceiling

Even the smallest leak is destructive of building material, and drywall in particular. As water seeps from a pipe and begins to collect on drywall, it starts to eat through it. The place you’ll most often see this is in the ceiling beneath a bathroom, a part of the house with a large amount of plumbing. Reddish-brown spots of discoloration usually mean there’s a leak.

Warping in the walls or floors

This is related to the above, and it’s something you’re most likely to encounter in the floorboards. If your wooden floorboards are warping or there are other bulges in the floor, get experts to look into it right away.

The sound of running water when there’s no water on

The “phantom water” phenomenon can point to leaks, often ones occurring in the floor.

Unusual behavior from the water heater

Why would the water heater indicate you have leaks? Because more leaks occur in the hot water lines than the cold water lines. Water leaving the hot water lines can cause the water heater to turn on at times when it otherwise wouldn’t. 

Extremely high water usage on your bills

High bills alone don’t necessarily mean you have hidden leaks, since the increase may be due to a rise in water costs from the utility company. What you need to pay attention to is the gallons of water used per month and compare it to other months. California weather means water usage is usually steady through the year, so a larger increase in usage will stand out. If you can’t account for this increase, please call us for leak detection services.

The water meter tells you there are leaks

There’s a test you can perform that will make it clear your house is losing water somewhere. If you begin to suspect hidden leaks based on other signs, then go locate your water meter. It’s usually found at the front of the house near where your property meets the sidewalk under a plastic cover. Check the reading on the meter, then don’t use any water in the house for an hour. Recheck the meter. If it’s risen … you have a leak!

Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air has served Orange County since 1981. Call us for complete plumbing services from the best-trained professionals.

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