How to Locate a Broken Pipe in a Wall
Confirm that you have a water leak by shutting off your water-using appliances and fixtures. This includes faucets, showers, washing machines and refrigerators.
Check your water meter box, which is typically located near the main water shutoff valve on the outside of your home. If the meter is moving, you may have a leak somewhere in the system.
Examine the walls in your home for water damage, such as bubbled paint, stains and cracks. Leaking water pipes may also leave wet spots on the wall. But the location of this damage is not usually the exact location of the leak. Water may run the length of a broken pipe and pool at a different location in the wall.
Inspect your crawlspace or basement in the area directly beneath where you find water damage. Look for pools of water or leaks where the plumbing pipes run through holes in the floor.
Look at exposed pipes near the walls in your basement or crawlspace. Corrosion or moisture on or around these pipes indicates a leak nearby. If there is mold, mildew or rotted wood near the pipe, the broken pipe is likely behind the wall next to or above this location.
How to Fix a Broken Pipe Inside a Wall
What Causes Pipes to Break?
Very cold weather is the leading cause of bursting pipes. It causes the water inside them to expand and get close to freezing. When the pressure increases too much, the structure of the pipe gets damaged. This usually happens when the temperature goes down to -6 degrees C.
How Do You Know if a Pipe Has Burst
The signs of a burst pipe can often go unnoticed or they can be all over the place, depending on the spot and magnitude of the rupture. The signs will always include water.
How to Locate the Broken Pipe
When ice forms inside your pipes, it doesn’t necessarily damage the spot where it formed. Sometimes, all the ice does is create a blockage, building pressure that will erupt at the most vulnerable spot, which may be found somewhere else. That’s why it’s very important to locate the exact place of the breakage.
How to Fix a Broken Pipe Inside a Wall
Fixing a pipe inside a wall is no easy task, so it’s a lot better to let a professional plumber deal with this. But if you feel confident you can do it yourself, just follow these instructions.
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
If you value your house, you have to pay a lot of attention to the plumbing. If you prefer not to call a plumber every winter, you need to take preventive measures against low temperatures.
HOW TO FIX A BROKEN PIPE UNDER THE HOUSE
WHAT IS A SLAB LEAK?
A slab leak is an industry term for a leak within the waterline piping below a home’s concrete floor, and they can occur in homes and buildings of all ages. Broken water pipes under your home can cause irreparable damage to foundations and cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. The extent of the damage can be exacerbated by certain types of soils (expansive soils) which absorb greater quantities of water and expand, often causing slabs to lift and crack (see our article The best ways to repair sewer pipes and collapsed drains under slabs).
SIGNS OF A WATER LEAK UNDER THE HOUSE
While water leaks under house slabs are notoriously good at remaining hidden from the untrained eye, knowing what to look for and regularly checking can help you get on top of things before they do too much damage.
MORE SERIOUS SIGNS OF STRUCTURAL DAMAGE FROM WATER LEAKS UNDER SLABS
Sewer line leaks can be a bit more difficult to spot but they can be just as damaging, particularly in areas with expansive soil. Expansive soils contain minerals that absorb water (such as clay soils) which can increase the soil volume by up to ten per cent, which is why leaking sewer lines under slabs can be so serious.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE GOT A LEAKING PIPE UNDER YOUR HOUSE
ESTABLISH THE LOCATION OF THE LEAK The first step is to establish where the leak(s) are located. If you see or hear water in one particular section of your floor, you might be able to take an educated guess, but there is no guarantee the offending pipe will be located right beneath the wet patch you’ve noticed on your carpet. Water is notorious for pooling in empty or low-lying cavities so the actual break or crack could be some distance away. You won’t be popular if you assure your wife you can repair the pipe yourself and cut up the concrete in her new bathroom floor – only to find the water’s coming from a leaking join two metres along the line.
ARM YOURSELF WITH NUMEROUS QUOTES AND INFORMATION Once the presence and location of a leak have been confirmed, the next step is the repair. If the leak is outside the perimeter of the slab or near the edge, and you know a bit about basic DIY plumbing, you might be lucky enough to be able to reach and repair it yourself without too much trouble.
What to Do When a Pipe Bursts in Your Home
Extremely cold temperatures, which people in Northern Illinois and Indiana can attest to, can be the most common source of a burst pipe, because when water freezes it expands. Expansion is not something most pipes can handle, so they will split and burst.
If you live in an older home, you’ve probably got some pipes that are corroding on the inside. If you live in an area where the pH is out of balance, you’re pipes will corrode at a faster rate.
Have you ever turned off the water in your home and heard/felt a bang? That’s called water hammer, and it occurs when pipes aren’t secured. Movement is not good on your pipes, particularly in the joints connecting one pipe to the next.
Stop the flow
The only way a burst pipe is going to stop leaking is for the water main supply valve to be turned to the off position. Find out exactly where your water main is and rehearse the steps you need to take to get there and whether you’ll need a tool to turn off the water.
Stay clear of appliances
Again, floods are an electrical hazard, which means you don’t want your feet in water and then touch something with amperage going to it.
Tips For Handling Broken Water Lines Or Pipes
Make A Call
When you are experiencing a leak, your first step should always be to contact a professional leak detection and restoration company. Even if you have experience with plumbing, a professional is equipped with the proper tools to get the problem resolved quickly to minimize the amount of time spent waterless and minimize the amount of damage traveling water can cause inside of a home.
Turn Off Your Water
While this may seem obvious as you are reading this, in a state of panic, it may not be. Your best bet may be to turn the water off to the entire house by turning it off at the meter. This will immediately prevent additional water from continually flowing out of the leak and prevent further damage.
Find The Leak
Next on our tips for handling broken water lines or pipes list can be a tough one. In order to provide a temporary fix to the leak, you’ve got to find the leak. While some may be easy to spot, others may be more difficult, somewhere behind the drywall for example. If that’s the case, be prepared to cut into your drywall.
Patch The Leak
Now that you (or a professional) have found the leak, it’s time to patch it. Sometimes a professional can’t be reached and you may have to create a temporary fix. We suggest using – or make shifting – a pipe clamp to prevent the water from leaking for a short time. A pipe clamp is made of metal, lined with rubber, which locks down over a leak to prevent the free flow of water.
Tips For Handling Broken Water Lines or Pipes
Here, at Leak Science, we harness and utilize two things that generally makeup leak detection – technology and science. Using highly sensitive equipment we are able to find the leaks that continue to cost you money every day until they are located and repaired. We often work against a maze of 100’s of feet of plumbing running in different directions to and from and all-around your home. We know and understand water lines and pipes very well so when it comes to looking for a leak we know what to look for.