How To Find Broken Pipes In Hidden Areas

Individuals who own property need to focus on leak detection in order to prevent serious issues from developing with their plumbing. In fact, leaks are often a sign that one or more pipes are broken. A broken pipe can lead to some extremely serious issues that can end up being quite damaging and costly. The problem with broken pipes is that many of the building’s pipes are often hidden from view, making it hard to not only detect a broken pipe before it causes serious problems, but also making it difficult to even reach.


Problems Caused by Broken Pipes
Broken pipes can lead to a number of issues, ranging from merely annoying to severely problematic. A broken pipe can lead to leaks in the building’s faucets or extreme water damage, from water spots in the walls and ceilings to flooding in more serious cases. This can cost a lot of money, since the owner of the building not only has to pay for water damage repairs but also for the water bills, which tend to be unusually high when a pipe breaks and water leaks. Additionally, if not dealt with immediately, the water that leaks out can cause mold to grow and spread – causing even further structural damage.

How to Detect a Broken Pipe
Broken pipes are not an uncommon problem amongst building owners and homeowners. In fact, according to research on the matter, roughly 33 percent of the world will experience a broken pipe at least once in their lifetime. A broken pipe should be found and fixed immediately in order to prevent not only serious structural damage but potential environmental danger as well. Look for these signs to make it easier to find a hidden broken pipe.

  • Strange Sounds – The plumbing in every building is installed in a ways so that the pipes make as little noise as possible. Pipe manufacturers even produce soundproof fixings for their pipes so that they don’t interfere with the quality of life of the residents. This means that if there are strange sounds coming from the pipes, the odds are good that there’s something wrong with them.
  • Strange Smells – Pipes that are installed correctly should not give off any type of smell. This means that if there is a strange smell in the building, it could be due to a leak in the vent or waste pipe. A pipe that is broken could be leaking water, which could result in the smell. The smell could also be as a result of sewage waste leaking out of a waste pipe.
  • Leaks – Leak detection is one of the easiest ways to figure out if there’s potentially a broken pipe in the building. One way leak detection can be done is by checking the downspout gutter for leaking water. Sometimes during the winter the water that flows from the gutter becomes cold enough to freeze, thereby causing pressure on the pipes and possibly breaking them.
  • Water Puddles Under the Sink – One of the most prominent signs of a broken pipe is if there is water pooling underneath the sink. Look for wet floors and carpets as another sign of a broken pipe.
  • Water Pressure Changes – Any changes in the water pressure, whether in the faucets or the shower, tends to be a definite indication of a broken pipe. Often it’s the result of a blocked pipe, whether due to the buildup of debris or frozen water. A blockage can end up leading to a broken pipe.

How to Find Broken Pipes
Although there are a lot of exposed pipes that the building owner can check, such as beneath the sinks and in the basement, there are also a number of hidden pipes – making it much more difficult to find a broken pipe if none of the exposed pipes exhibit any issues. Many of a building’s pipes are located within the walls, under the ground or under the floor. Usually, the best way to find a hidden broken pipe is to check the area where there is water damage. If there are water spots on the walls or on the ground, they are usually indicative of where the broken pipe is located. The problem is that more often than not, a piece of the wall or floor will have to be removed in order to reach the pipe. Sometimes, the issue is a slab leak, which is a particularly difficult issue to deal with. These pipes are beneath the concrete foundation of the building, making it much more difficult to get to.

Although leak detection is possible on one’s own, getting to the pipes can be quite difficult. This is why a professional contractor should be contacted upon finding any signs or damage related to a potentially broken pipe.

Photo Credit: Austin Godber