For the most part, all of the inner workings that make a house a functional home are hidden and tucked away so everything is buttoned-up and pretty, including plumbing pipes. While having plumbing pipes hidden within walls, between rafters in the ceiling, or even in the floor means you don't see all that industrial function inside the house, it also means that leaks can sometimes be really hard to detect. Dealing with leaking pipes isn't always about looking for a drip by viewing the pipe itself. Here's what you need to know about detecting leaks in hidden plumbing pipes.
Turn off all water faucets and test your water meter first.
One of the easiest ways to look for hidden leaks in your home is by monitoring your water usage, which is easy to do because your home has a water meter as long as it is hooked into a public water supply. Turn off all of your faucets, including those that deliver water to the hot water heater and washing machine, and take a reading of your meter immediately. Wait a few hours or for as long as you can, and then check the meter to see how many gallons were used during that time frame. If water was used when all faucets were off, then there is a very real possibility that some of the hidden pipes could be leaking.
Pay close attention to slight signs of water stains around plumbing pipe areas.
If you checked the meter and it is obvious that you have a leak, it is time to start tracking down the culprit. Many homes have a full series of hidden pipes throughout the residence, so simply tracking down the pipe in question can be hard. One thing that can offer you somewhat of a roadmap is water stains. Water stains can show up on drywall, wood, and painted surfaces, but they are easily overlooked in their earliest stages because they can be so slight.
Examine walls for condensation where there are hidden pipes located.
Even if there is no water seeping through from a hidden pipe that is damaged, it is possible to see some kind of moisture, specifically in the form of condensation. If water leaking into space is a different temperature than that on the others side of a wall or interior surface, it could cause condensation. Therefore, small areas of condensation in the house are definitely signs of something being wrong, and it very well could be a bad pipe that is concealed.
For more more info, contact a local professional.