Water pooling on your floors can sound like a plumbing disaster, but this is often a symptom of a simpler problem, like a faulty appliance or a leaky drain pipe. The source of your water problem may not always be obvious, but here are three things that could be causing it and some ways you can track it down.
In many cases you'll find yourself lucky in that the source of the water on your floors isn't coming from beneath them, but rather from a nearby appliance leaking water. This can happen often with dishwashers, clothes washing machines, and fridge/freezer appliances.
One sign that an appliance could be the problem is if the water only seems to show up intermittently. It could be that your dishwasher doesn't drain properly or leaks some water through a seal that is no longer watertight. In other cases, a freezer can leak water onto the floor when ice builds up at the bottom of the freezer after failing to drain and then subsequently melting.
Keep in mind that this can still be the case even if the water doesn't show up immediately next to any appliance; water travels easily down slopes, so if you have any appliances just above the visible water, don't exclude them from your search. An appliance technician will be able to help you in the event an appliance is the problem, but a plumber can help you with almost any problem, too.
Leaky Drains or Pipes
Any pipe that carries water has the chance to spring a leak, and since these pipes run all over your house, it can be difficult to track down a leak that isn't immediately noticeable. There are still a few ways you can try to narrow your search, however.
To start, again look for signs that the water only appears after doing something specific, like draining a bath or taking a shower. If the water is constant, the leak is probably from a supply pipe; if it's not, it's likely from a drain pipe. You can also help figure out whether the leak is coming from behind a wall or under a floor by using a moisture meter to detect where the water is traveling. If it only seems to be under your floors, you can probably narrow down the leak to somewhere on the level you're currently on.
Under-floor leaks can make the problem seem much worse than it actually is, but in many cases you may only need to replace a drain pipe. The greater danger is water damage and mold, not damage to your plumbing.
Slab leaks refer to leaking pipes that are underneath the concrete base of your house. These are rarer than other leaks because these pipes are less often disturbed and better protected, but a leak underneath the concrete can pose long-term trouble. Given their position, these are harder to repair, and are thus more expensive.
You can try to determine if you have a slab leak by doing some troubleshooting of your own.
- See if your water heater is always running. If you have a slab leak, water is constantly cycling in and out of your water heater, which means it has to run all the time to keep water warm.
- Check your water meter when you have all faucets in and around your home turned off. If you aren't running water, but the water meter still shows activity, this could indicate a slab leak.
- Look for an overall decrease in water pressure. With some water leaking, your water pressure to your house will decrease.
- Keep track of water use on your bills. If your bills are high no matter how little water you use, that water is coming from somewhere.
A slab leak can get serious quickly, so if you think this may be the case for your home, call a plumber immediately. To learn more, visit a website like http://www.rkknightplumbing.com.