Can Leak Detection Be a DIY Task?

burst-pipeLeak detection is an interesting subject for plumbers and DIY enthusiasts.

On one hand, some leak detection methods are based purely on using your senses. There’s no reason why a DIYer couldn’t learn some of these tricks of leak detection.

On the other hand, there are cases where leak detection does need the tools and equipment that only a professional plumber has access to.

And in yet another hand, there’s a factor that we cannot ignore: a huge gap in experience between the DIYer and the professional plumber. Sometimes, using your senses or a professional piece of equipment is nothing compared to the intuition gained from experiencing plumbing problems for several years.

We’ll go over the specifics down below:

The Sensory Methods

There are methods of leak detection are free and anyone can learn them. However, they’ll only take you as far as you can hear, see, or feel them.


You know that sound you hear after flushing your toilet? That’s the same kind of sound you might also want to listen for when searching for a leak. This sound indicates that water is rushing through the pipes. However, there’s no reason you should be hearing that sound if there’s no appliance in use.


It sounds obvious that sight is a major factor in finding a leak. However, consider that most leaks happen behind walls and ceilings. You’ll have to use your sight in other ways to find these leaks:

  • Increased vegetation in your yard, such as in the event of a leaking sewer pipe.
  • Water stains or damp areas on walls.
  • Cracks in concrete or tile flooring; warping in wood flooring.


Often, feeling the presence of a leak can confirm a leak that you can hear or see.

  • A burst hot water pipe can warm up the ground above it.
  • Soggy spots in the yard can indicate a broken main water line.
  • Low water pressure from your faucets often indicates a leak.

Professional Methods

When those sensory methods aren’t enough to confirm the presence of a leak, a professional plumber in Rio Rancho, NM will use some of their professional tools, such as:

Listening Discs: If a wall or floor is too thick to hear through, this acoustic device can be used to amplify the sound and pinpoint the location of a leak.

Thermal Scanners: Water leaving a pipe will change temperature. With a thermal scanner, these changes can be detected drywall, wood, concrete, and more.

Video Camera Inspection: The video camera tool has many uses, and one of them is for inspecting a leak. These high definition, miniature cameras can be inserted into a pipe and used to inspect every inch of it.

Experience and Intuition

And finally, the best method for leak detection: pure experience.

Intuition is a feeling you can get only from going through many experiences. There are a countless number of times that a professional plumber has encountered a particular type of leak, including the times where they made mistakes and had to learn from them. That’s something you just can’t get from a how-to video.

Got a leak? Shut off the water immediately! Then, contact Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain. Why Wait for Service When You Can Get It Express?

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