Plumbing is one of those things that is invisible to most of us. When it works, it just works, and we love having running water at the touch of a knob. However, when it doesn’t work, many people don’t even know where to begin to look for the source of the problem to start to solve it. If you have a leak in your home’s plumbing, this is something that can do major damage, from water damage to mold. It just doesn’t pay to procrastinate on a plumbing issue or allow it to continue.

However, what if you don’t even know that you have a leak? After all most of your plumbing pipes are hidden behind drywall, or encased in between your home’s floors. How are you supposed to find the source of the trouble, or even know that there’s trouble in the first place? In this article, we’ll cover some tips from our plumber in Kankakee to help you to be aware of any potential leaks and make the most of the opportunity to perform timely repairs before they become even more costly.

Know what your home’s plumbing is made of

If you have a newer home, then your plumbing pipes are most likely made of modern materials, like PVC pipe, which aren’t able to rust through. However, if your home’s plumbing is made of older materials that have never been replaced (like galvanized steel), then it’s possible that your pipes could rust through at any time. With every passing year, you stand the risk of leaks developing, and there’s never a good time for this to happen. Once you’ve identified what material your plumbing pipes are made of, you’ll know if you need to be extra-vigilant in the exercise of caution, inspections, and maintenance.

Spot the signs of a leak

If a slow leak is dripping just a little bit at a time, then it can be incredibly difficult to catch it. Sometimes the signs of a slow leak can take months to appear.

  • Look for water stains or discolored spots on your ceilings. If you do spot these things, it’s important to take action right away, as the water damage will be quite extensive by the time it has soaked through your ceiling material far enough to be visible.
  • If your basement ceiling has removable ceiling tiles, remove one or two of them once in a while and visually inspect the area with a flashlight. Look for any moisture and sniff for mold.

Periodically check the most likely culprits

Wherever your plumbing has joints or valves, it is more vulnerable to leaks in those places. While a leak can occur anywhere, there are some places where leaks commonly occur. Ensuring that you have an easy method of access to these places is a huge help to making you successful at identifying leaks early. Check these spots from time to time.

  • The water supply to your shower. Most homes have a removable panel or other access point that allows you to check this area. Feel with your hand to ensure that nothing is wet back there.
  • The area under your sink. Fortunately, leaks under the sink are the easiest to spot because you can open the cabinet doors. You’ll probably notice these leaks right away, especially if you keep items under your sink. Take action right away to prevent the leak from getting any worse or from doing further damage.
  • The hookups to your washing machine and hot water heater. Visually inspect the pipes as far as you can see them before they disappear behind a wall.

Schedule a regular maintenance check

No matter how vigilant you are, there’s still the possibility that a hidden leak could be damaging your home from the inside out. It’s a great idea to schedule a plumber to come out once a year to give your plumbing a regular “health inspection.” This will give you the peace of mind that everything is in good order for another year.


Home Plumbing, Furnace, and Heating is here for you for all your plumbing needs. We can do emergency plumbing calls or regular maintenance. If you suspect you have a slow leak or if you have any other plumbing need, please contact us! We look forward to serving you.