Most Laguna Niguel Realtors will tell you that nothing within your home that’s attached to the water source runs the risk of springing a leak. That also includes anything that drains water away. With so much riding in your plumbing and appliances holding all their water inside, you would think that it would be easier to locate something leaking in your home. As it turns out, it can be kinda tricky. So, grab a flashlight and let’s start sleuthing!

Ask Yourself: Is it Really a Leak?

This may sound like common sense, but if you are new to homeownership or even just to leaking stuff, you may mistake condensation for leaks. There’s a fantastic reason for this. Older pipes do sometimes condensate so hard that they drip. This is especially frequent in high humidity areas like basements and crawl spaces.

Our Laguna Niguel Real Estate Agents say that prior to panicing because your pipes are leaking, take a hard look at where that water is coming from. Is it intermittent? Just when it is muggy? Run a dehumidifier near the condensation pipe and, like magic, your condensing plumbing will be more! If the problem is at a crawl space, try opening up your foundation vents so external air can move in and push constructed up humidity outside. Adding pre-formed foam pipe insulation in the locations will also help fight the drip.

About the Hunt for Leaks

Usually, a homeowner will stumble across leaks on accident. They’re rarely loud, raging rivers, most are mild trickles at best. In fact, you might have a leak for months and never realize it! So how do you go about tracking down?

Our Laguna Niguel Real Estate Agents suggest you search for signs of moisture damage. A leaking bathroom, for example, will almost always leak at the wax ring that creates the seal between the feces to the drain pipe. When leaking happens here, it is common that the water moves beneath the flooring and causes it to bubble up or soften.

Smell around. This sounds ridiculous, but if you can’t find any damage, you may be able to smell the distinctive scent of mildew and moisture. Follow your nose into the source of the issue.

Try and listen for dripping sounds. Even a tiny leak can sometimes be heard, especially if the leak in question is dripping into a closed area. For example, an air handler using a clogged or condensation pan may drip into the space under, until a significant amount of standing water melts. The drip, drip, trickle you hear if you walk from the utility closet may be a warning signal.

If your basic senses fail you, it’s time to start a systematic search. If you just know there’s a leak, but you can’t really find it, make a list of all the things on your house that use water, including appliances like the dishwasher and the ice maker. Don’t forget all the drains, that can be really frustrating since a leaky drain literally comes and goes as it fills with water.

How To Properly Fix A Leak

Fixing your leak is likely to depend heavily on where it’s located and what kind of materials are involved. For a basic homeowner-level repair, limit your efforts to plastic pipes and screw-on braided cables such as the water lines to the toilet and sinks. Copper, galvanized steel and cast iron requires special tools and specific expertise to fix.

Then again, your leak might not even be related to plumbing — it may be coming from a backed-up condensation line at your air handler. In that case, running vinegar through the line will loosen the clog and let water flow freely again. If it’s a rusted condensation pan, however, you’re going to need a pro. The same goes for a hot water heater that’s leaking out the ground.

Overall, our Laguna Niguel Real Estate Agents say that leaks are enormous pains, but many can be repaired easily with a few bits and pieces from the hardware store. It is more important to understand when you’re in over your head because it’s easy to make the issue worse. If you can’t fix the leak, make certain that you place the shut-off valve to the”off” position until a specialist can help.