A small, simple plumbing leak can cause a lot big and complicated problems. Do you know how to identify plumbing leaks? Here’s what you can do:

The best way to determine if you have a leak in your plumbing system, is by first checking your water meter. Make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house. Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it is moving. Depending on the brand of your meter, the leak indicator could be a small triangular shaped dial or a small silver wheel that rotates when water is flowing through the meter. If the dial is moving, chances are, you have a leak. Here are some other methods to detect leaks:

Tub and shower: Splash leaks

Splash water all around a shower door. If water seeps out when you splash it from all around your shower door, caulk the frame on the inside. Run a new bead along the floor/tub joint. This is known as the most common type of bathroom leak. Although it may seem minor, a leak like this can cause major damage when water seeps into the subfloor. Before you know it you will see the vinyl flooring or tiles start getting loose. Worse case scenario, the plywood subfloor delaminates and rots, requiring a huge, expensive tear out and replacement job.

Use Your Sight & Smell

Your walls and ceilings can provide signs that something is wrong. If you notice bubbling in wall or stains these can be signs. In a room situated underneath a bathroom or tub, water can travel down from the washroom and cause the ceiling to sag. You might notice mold and mildew buildup, especially around the tub. Also, a musty odor in the washroom can be a sign that there’s a leak, especially if the smell persists after a thorough cleaning.


With your toilet you may quicker notice signs of leaks by sounds rather than sigh and smell. A leaking toilet is a common problem and is often fairly simple to repair. Listen for continuous running water like if you have just flushed the toilet.


Leaks underneath the sink can be easily missed sometimes. If you do notice any wetness, or a puddle below the sink, it’s possible you have a supply leak. According to the situation all you may have to do is tighten or replace the shutoff valve. Leaks can damage the cabinets of flooring beneath the sink so address any signs of them promptly.