Identify And Fix A Leaking Wall Pipe

How To Tell If A Wall Pipe Is Leaking

Unless you have X-ray vision, determining whether or not a wall pipe is leaking in your home can be tricky business. There’s some trial and error that goes into it. However, confirming that a leak exists and finding its source is the first critical step to conducting a repair. There’s no getting around it. To find out if you have a wall leak and where, follow the tips below.

Recognize the Signs of a Wall Leak

These signs should be your first clues that you have a wall leak. Here’s what to look for:

  • Mold
  • Peeling wallpaper or paint
  • Moisture
  • Sponginess

If these symptoms occur in a bathroom or kitchen, there’s a good chance that the leaky pipe originates in that room. However, don’t forget that leaks in the wall can originate from rooms above, so signs of a leaking pipe don’t have to be contained to the area where the pipe is located. If these signs appear in a ceiling, check out our post about finding the source of a ceiling leak.

Use a Moisture Meter

A moisture meter is a high-tech device that senses moisture. Lots of moisture meters have pins that need to get stuck in the wall in order to detect water. Higher end models don’t require a probe to be placed in the walls, but these models can cost hundreds of dollars.

In reality, the pins aren’t really that big of a deal. Some moisture meters have very small pins and you don’t need to stick them far into the wall at all to get a reading. In addition, once wall is water damaged (which it may be in this scenario), sticking pins into it should the least of your concerns. You can see both of these types of moisture meters in action in the following videos:

Moisture Meter With Pins:

Moisture Meter Without Pins:

Moisture meters measure moisture by degrees. If the wall appears to be dry from the outside, you’ll use it to determine whether or not there’s moisture behind the wall. Once you’ve determined that the moisture is there, you’ll use the moisture meter to scan the general area and determine where the wall seems to be the wettest. This will help you determine the wall leak’s point of origin.

If You Don’t Have a Moisture Meter

The only way to determine whether or not a pipe is leaking behind your wall without a moisture meter is to cut the wall open. To do this, follow this procedure:

  1. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. Mark the studs with a pencil so you’ll know where not to cut.
  2. Use a drywall saw to cut a hole between the studs. Cut the hole starting at a location near the bottom of the wall.
  3. Check out the space. Use a flashlight to look into the hole and scan for water damage. If you do find water, follow the water’s trail to find the source of the leak. You might have to follow the water up into the wall, and if you can’t see the pipe from your position, you may have to cut higher into the wall.

If you don’t have a moisture meter, you could find yourself cutting many holes in your walls. To avoid this scenario, contact Terry’s Plumbing. We have all the tools necessary to find your leak in a way that is minimally invasive as well as accurate.

One thought on “How To Tell If A Wall Pipe Is Leaking”

  1. I’ve been starting to wonder why my bathroom floor is perpetually wet, even when no one has taken a shower. After reading through the signs of a leak, I’m pretty that there must be a leaky pipe in the walls somewhere. I don’t want any water damage in my house, so I’ll have to address the issue as soon as I can. I’ll have to call a plumber right away.

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