If your new home has been empty for a while, there are a few things you will want to look over before you move in. One of them is the plumbing system. Specifically, you want to look for leaks. Leaks can develop when the pipes sit unused for a while, and ideally, you want to have them fixed before you start using the plumbing and water accidentally ends up everywhere!
So, how do you go about checking for leaks in the home? Here are four steps to follow.
1. Put dye in the toilets.
Toilets are one of the most common culprits when it comes to plumbing leaks. And these leaks can go undetected for years, wasting thousands of gallons of water since they don't directly spill water onto the floor. To check for a leaky toilet, take the lid off the tank and squeeze in a few drops of your favorite color of food dye. Put the lid back on and wait about an hour. Look inside the toilet. Is the water in the bowl colored? If so, your toilet is leaking! Luckily, a plumber can usually fix the leak by replacing a simple component called the flapper.
2. Look at the walls and floors.
Turn the water on at a few of the taps, and let it run for a while. You want to ensure water has flowed through every pipe in the home. After waiting about 10 or 15 minutes, take a look at all of the walls behind which the pipes run. Run your hands up and down the walls to feel for any moist spots or places where the paint is bubbling. If you detect any moisture, that means the pipes behind that wall are leaking. (Look at the floor, too. Water may drip down and settle between the floor and wall).
3. Watch the meter.
Just to make sure there are no hidden leaks you are overlooking, turn off all of the appliances in the home that use water. Also, turn off the water flow to every toilet. (There's a valve near the floor at the base of the toilet that controls the flow.) Then, watch your water meter. Is the reading slowly creeping up, even though no water is being used? That means water is leaking out somewhere -- potentially in one of the larger pipes leading into your home.
Once you complete the checks above, you'll either feel comforted knowing you are moving into a leak-free home or you will need to contact a plumber from a company like In & Out Plumbing & Construction to make some repairs before you move in.