Worried about leaks in your Melbourne home or business? It’s tough to spot leaks – but not impossible. To help you save time (and more than a bit of money), we’ve put together this handy guide to show you where leaks are common, what warning signs to leak out for, and how long it takes to catch leaking taps, toilets, hot water systems, and more.

Did you know a leaking tap can waste 9,000 litres of water in just 12 months?

If that’s not enough to have you frantically checking your faucets for leaks, nothing will. Although leaks can feel scary, there are a range of proactive steps you can take to find water that’s running where it shouldn’t.

Although these steps won’t always stop leaks from occurring, they can help you spot leaks in no time at all. Then, you can choose whether to go for a DIY fix or a professional service. Keep in mind, leak detection can be as quick as 5 minutes on your own or take hours through a professional team, so read on for tips on making the most of your time and keeping your Melbourne home or business dry.

How long can a water leak go undetected?

It’s a nightmare scenario for all Melbourne home and business owners – an undetected leak that’s dripping behind your walls for days, weeks, or months without your knowledge. By the time you hire a local plumber to identify and fix the leak, the damage can already be catastrophic.

So, how long can a water leak go undetected?

Well, this depends on the location and severity of your leak. A leak in your bathroom faucet may not cause major damage, but as we said, it can lead to an estimated 9,000 litres of water going to waste each year (which you’ll be paying for on your water bill).

In contrast, a leak behind the walls of your kitchen or bathroom may go unnoticed for months with minimal warning signs for you to spot. If you’re concerned about leaks in your home, watch out for the following red flags:

✘ Unexpected increase in your water bill
✘ Wet patches on the floor in your kitchen or bathroom
✘ Peeling or flaking paint on the walls
✘ Trickling or gurgling sounds behind the walls
✘ Low water pressure without obvious reason

How long does it take to spot a leak in my Melbourne home or business?

This depends on the source of the leak. Some leaks, like malfunctioning taps, will be easier to spot than a cracked pipe in the wall of your home. To help you budget your time effectively, we’ve rounded up some of the most common leaks we encounter, and how long it takes to identify a problem.

How long does it take to spot a leaking tap?

You’ll often hear advice like “check for water pooling in your sink” when it comes to leaking taps, but most of the time you’ll ignore water in the sink – after all, that’s where it belongs.

Instead, check under your sinks to see if you can spot signs of water damage. You can use a torch or the torch app on your smartphone and check for moisture, warped timer, peeling paint, etc. It may help to remove items from under your sink to spot any mould or buckled surfaces.

Time to detect leaking tap? 5 – 10 minutes

How long does it take to spot a leaking toilet?

Leaking toilets can be a little tricker as the leak won’t generally be visible to the naked eye. The most common cause of leaking toilets comes down to damaged or malfunctioning flush valves (flappers) at the bottom of your cistern. When this equipment is broken, water slowly passes from your tank to the bowl.

This is a prime example of the complexity of leaks. In this situation, you typically won’t see any damage, but water constantly leaking into your toilet bowl means you’ll be using water all day (and your next water bill won’t be happy about it).

If you’re worried about a leaking toilet, try adding food colouring into the cistern. If there’s a leak, the coloured water will make its way to your toilet bowl.

Time to detect leaking toilet? 10 – 15 minutes

How long does it take to spot a leaking hot water system?

A leaky hot water system can take longer to detect as there are a number of complex parts that may be at fault. For a start, you’ll need to figure out whether your leak is coming from your hot water unit or the pipes connected to it.

If water is leaking from your hot water unit, you’ll need to figure out the source of the problem. This could be from the pressure relief valve, the top of the tank, or the bottom of the tank. Muddying the waters further, a small amount of water dripping from your pressure relief valve is normal, so it’s not just a matter of spotting water and spotting a leak.

In most cases, a leaking hot water system is a symptom of a much larger problem that needs fixing. Even if you find a quick fix for the leak you find, your pipes or water tank may be breaking down, with catastrophic leaks and breakdowns coming in the future.

For that reason, if you’re concerned about a leaking hot water system, it’s best to pick up the phone and call your local Melbourne plumber – or request a fast and FREE quote online.

Time to detect leaking hot water system? 1 – 2 hours

What plumbing leaks take the longest to find?

You’ve now got the skills to spot a leaking toilet, tap, or hot water system. But here’s the bad news – your plumbing system is complex and extensive.

Leaks don’t always shoot out into the air like in Hollywood movies. With kilometres of pipes stretching behind your walls and off your property, leaks can happen far away, making it hard to see or hear them.

For example, a slab leak is almost impossible to spot without expert technology and support. If your home is built on a concrete slab, pipes running under this heavy, robust foundation can break and cause leaks that are extremely difficult to find. Interestingly, hot water pipes are more likely to corrode under concrete slabs, so be on the lookout for hot spots on your floor, poor water pressure, or cracks in your walls.

Are there any professional tools that can speed up leak detection?

Yep, and we use such a tool regularly.

As water and moisture can damage the structure of your Melbourne home or business out of sight, we use advanced thermal imaging tools to spot leaks without destructive testing.

As moisture can lead to changes in temperature, a thermal imaging device can “see” through your walls and identify moisture patterns based on their shape and size. For example, water leaking behind walls forms a thermal top-down triangle shape. While a damaged hot water pipe shows thermal lines as water escapes the pipe and moves through the walls of your home.

In addition to thermal imaging, we use the following devices to speed up leak detection and find your plumbing problems fast:

  • CCTV vision
  • Acoustic listening devices
  • Ultrasonic leak detectors

So while the timeline depend on the scale and severity of your leak, our industry-leading tools ensure we find the problem FAST and get your home or business fixed in no time.

How long does it take to find a gas leak?

Gas leaks are dangerous and common in Melbourne homes and businesses.

Between gas appliances and gas heaters keeping you warm during Melbourne’s chilly winters, malfunctions and broken equipment can expose you and your family to harmful CO2 without you realising it.

When your health is at risk, you need to find the source of your gas leak fast. The most effective (and safest) strategy is to pick up the phone and call the Mr. Leak Detector team. Our advanced tools can detect common household gas like:

  • Natural Gas
  • Methane
  • Liquid Propane
  • Butane

Don’t risk your health. If you smell gas in your home, notice your plants dying without reason, or hear a hissing sound coming from a gas line or appliance, turn off your gas at the metre, go outside, and call our licensed and insured gas fitting experts on 9331 6633.

15-minute leak detection hack you can use right now

Let’s face it, you don’t want to call your local Melbourne emergency plumber unless it’s necessary. Unfortunately, you don’t have access to the same tools and cutting-edge equipment as a team of plumbers, so what do you do?

Well, before you pick up the phone, here’s a quick and 100% free leak detection strategy that only takes 15 minutes.

This can save you hundreds of dollars in mistaken plumbing call-outs, and give you the confidence to diagnose your own leaks quickly. Here’s what you need to do:

Step One: Turn off all taps in your property, as well as appliances that use water
Step Two: Find your water metre (typically in the front yard)
Step Three: Write down the entire number, including the red numbers
Step Four: Wait 15 minutes without using any water (that includes flushing the toilet)
Step Five: Record the entire number on your water metre again, including the red numbers
Step Six: Does your water metre show a different number? If so, you may have a leak somewhere that’s adding to your water use, even when you turned everything off

If you try this simple, at-home leak detection test and realise your water metre is still ticking over, don’t panic. Pick up the phone and call a Mr. leak Detector plumber on 9331 6633 to organise a call-out and swift leak repair today.

Worried there’s a leak in your Melbourne home? Mr. Leak Detector can help

Worried about a leak in your home or business? We can help.

Mr. Leak Detector is Melbourne’s trusted team for all leaks (it’s in our name) whether it’s a busted pipe behind your bathroom wall or a gas leak in the kitchen. As a proudly Australian-owned and operated team, we’re available 24/7 so whether it’s midday or midnight, you’ll have the support you need when you need it.

If you’d like to learn more about our services or request a fast and FREE quote, please click here or call 9331 6633 to speak to a member of our team.