When you notice a spot on your carpet that always seems wet or if a certain area of your floor seems warmer than everywhere else, you could have a water leak. A small hole in a pipe allows water to leak out slow enough that it doesn't cause an alarming emergency, but the leak can still cause a lot of water damage. Plus, if a hot water pipe is leaking, your electric bill will go up because your hot water heater has to run more. Here's how a plumber can find a water leak under your floor and why it could indicate the need for repiping.

How To Find A Leak Under The Floor

A water leak can be tricky to find, since water leaks from a pipe and flows downhill along the pipe before it drips and forms a puddle. While the leak might be in the exact spot of the wet carpet, it might be elsewhere that's at a higher elevation. A plumber can find the leaky area without having to tear up the floor to hunt for it. One tool they might use is an ultrasonic listening device that works sort of like a doctor's stethoscope. By placing the device on the floor and moving it around while listening to the sound produced, the plumber can detect the source of the leak when the sound changes.

This can be time-consuming work, but it's an effective way to find a water leak with the least disruption to your home. Your plumber may have other tools to use too such as a thermal camera. Since a thermal camera makes pictures based on temperature, this equipment shows if the leak is in a hot water pipe or a cold pipe.

Why A Pipe Leak Can Signal The Need For Repiping

If the pipe is under a slab, then that complicates the repairs. The plumber has to decide if it's best to dig up the pipe and make repairs or if a new pipe can be installed and routed around the old one. Depending on where the pipe leak is located, the plumber may need to open a wall or the floor to get to the pipe to make repairs. However, this option may not be the best if the pipe is leaking due to old age and corrosion. Replacing the pipe would probably be better than repairs in that case because the pipe will probably continue to deteriorate and start leaking again. In fact, repiping your entire home might become necessary.

When deciding on the right way to proceed, your plumber considers the overall condition of the pipes in your home. Other pipes may be on the verge of failing too if the cause of the leaky pipe is corrosion and age. The first leak might be a warning sign that repiping your home is necessary to prevent a burst pipe disaster.