Water Leak Signs in Your Home

Water leaks can be costly and cause extensive damage, so it’s crucial to act promptly on any water leak signs in your home.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a water leak of one drip per second wastes 1661 gallons of water and can cost up to $35 per year. That’s not counting the cost of repairing any damage to your home from an undetected water leak.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the average household’s leaks account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted yearly, and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more daily. That’s a great deal of costly wasted water.

Here are some water leak signs in your home you should watch for so you can have small leaks repaired before they become major problems:

Water Stains on the Walls or Ceilings

If you suddenly notice discolored patches on the walls or ceilings of your home, you may have a leak. Brownish stains, peeling paint, and mold or mildew on the walls or ceilings can all indicate a leak, especially if the stains aren’t near a bathroom.

Damp spots on the walls, ceilings, or floors are also signs of a water leak that should be dealt with by a plumbing pro as soon as possible.

Higher Water Bills

If your water bills have suddenly risen for no apparent reason, it may be due to an undetected leak.

Toilets are a common site for water leaks, and leaky toilets can waste a significant amount of water and raise your water bills.

Check for toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and waiting about twenty minutes. If there’s no colored water in the bowl or on the floor around the toilet, then the toilet isn’t leaking.

Dripping faucets are another common cause of leaks that waste water and raise your water bills. A one drip-per-second faucet leak can waste over 3,000 gallons of water a year.

Check for leaks under sinks, in the laundry room, and around the water heater, which are all possible sources of leaks.

If you still can’t find the source of the leak, it’s best to call a plumbing pro to help diagnose and fix the problem.

Your Water Meter Runs When You Haven’t Used Any Water

If your water bills are suddenly higher and you suspect you may have a leak, check your water usage by turning off the water to your home for a couple of hours.

You have a leak if the water meter reading is higher even with the water turned off.

Unpleasant Smells

Musty, damp smells in your home near bathrooms, walls, or drains could be signs of a leak. Sewer odors may mean a sewer vent has cracked.

Foul odors that won’t go away are signs of leaks that can cause serious damage to your home, attract insects, and spread germs.  Bad smells are signs of a water leak problem that needs immediate professional attention.

Call a Chas Roberts plumbing pro to investigate the problem.

Weak Water Pressure in Your Home

Water pressure that’s suddenly weaker than usual could be a sign that there’s a hidden water leak in your home. The leak may be in the supply line or even at the water main.

Older homes often have galvanized steel pipes which can rust and leak.

Weak water flow in an older home can also indicate corroded pipes, which can become clogged with buildup and eventually leak or burst, causing severe water damage.

Corroded pipes can also compromise the water quality in your home, causing discoloration or water that smells or tastes strange. Weak water pressure or a change in water quality are signs of a problem you shouldn’t ignore.

If there’s no construction or utility company work going on nearby that could affect your water pressure, it’s time to call a plumbing pro to address the problem.

Rattling Sounds Coming From Your Pipes

Rattling pipes are annoying, but they could also indicate a more significant problem with the plumbing in your home that needs further investigation. The rattling sound could mean the pipes in your home are loose.

The vibration from poorly secured pipes can eventually lead to costly leaks.

If you suspect the pipes in your home aren’t as well-secured as they should be, contact a Chas Roberts plumbing pro.

Mold or Mildew Growth in Your Home

Mold and mildew thrive in a damp environment, so if you see mold or mildew growth areas around your house, it’s probably a sign of a water leak in your home.

Mold spores can pose a serious health threat when inhaled, especially for anyone with respiratory problems, and should be dealt with promptly. If left untreated, mold can cause costly damage to your home and cause health problems for your family.

Call a plumbing pro immediately if you see signs of mold or mildew growth or your home suddenly has a musty smell. There’s likely a water leak that will only worsen if left untreated.

Wet or Muddy Spots in Your Yard

Wet or muddy spots in your yard and cracked or crumbling paved areas are often signs of leaks in outdoor pipes.

Sewage smells, potholes, or sinkholes are other signs of a water leak to watch for outside that could indicate an exterior pipe leak.

Repairing leaks in outdoor pipes is best left to plumbing professionals with the expertise and equipment to do the job correctly.


You should never ignore signs of a water leak in your home. Water leaks will only worsen over time, resulting in higher water bills and costly damage to your home.

It pays to be alert to any sudden usage spikes in your water bills and any signs of water leaks in your water-using appliances. Anything other than minor repairs is best left to plumbing professionals.

Chas Roberts is the oldest and largest residential HVAC company in Arizona and has been family-owned and operated for over 75 years. Contact us for affordable, reliable service.