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Dripping Faucet

What is Considered a Leak? A Quick Guide For You

Leaks are a huge and common problem, particularly in climates with more rain and storms. However, even dry areas can experience leaks, as they are not always weather-related. Leaks can be caused by faulty pipes, weather damage, or any number of issues.

What exactly is considered a leak, though? How can you detect one? Read on to find out more about identifying and detecting leaks before they cause too much damage.

What is Considered a Water Leak?

Water leaks can come from many sources, and all need different types of care. The technical definition of a leak is a gradual loss of liquid (in this case water) from a system. A leak, if left unattended, can cause serious damage to property and pipes, and eventually lead to worse leaks. What are some common types of water leaks?

Water Supply Line

The water supply line is how your home or office receives water, and a leak in the supply line can cause a world of problems. A water line leak can occur anywhere between the meter and the building, so it can be difficult to pinpoint. These pipes also tend to be buried at least 3 feet under the ground, so it can be a while before you realize that there is a problem.

If you discover that there is a leak in your water line, contact the water utility company rather than trying to repair it yourself. You may do more harm than good otherwise.

Tub and Faucets

Faucet and tub leaks are very common, and they are much easier to repair than water lines. These leaks most often occur as a steady drip from the spout. However, they are not as harmless as they seem.

A dripping faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water in a year. Repairing these leaks quickly can save you money and help the environment – and your plumbing. Different faucets need different types of repairs, so while it isn’t as pressing as a water line leak, it’s still better to consult a professional.

Leaking Brown Faucet

Pools and Fountains

With how much water cycles through a pool or a fountain, even the smallest leak can cause a lot of damage and rack up a water bill. Even a tiny, pin-sized hole in a pool can lose hundreds of gallons in 24 hours.

Leaks can also lead to algae growth or other unsavory things aside from damage to the structures. These issues need to be dealt with as soon as they are dealt with, and if you suspect there could be one, call in the experts to help.


Indoor plumbing is a staple of the modern age, but it also means that toilet leaks are very common. As most of the water cycling in a toilet is done internally, the leaks are often silent and difficult to notice until it’s too late.

Nearly everyone will have some sort of toilet leak in their lifetime, if not multiple. Leaks in larger toilets are typically easier to identify. Either way, you need someone who truly understands the plumbing system to fix it.

Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers aren’t present in all home, but they are common enough that leaks in them are well know. These systems tend to be in homes in areas with more arid climates.

Most often, if your evaporative cooler is experiencing a leak, it is due to the refill valve of the reservoir failing to close properly. If caught early it’s a simple fix, but left unchecked it could cause a lot more damage.

How Can You Tell If You Have a Water Leak?

The way to identify a leak varies by the location and the type of leak. Here are a few ways you may be able to identify a problem, based on the location of the water:

  • In the water line – Sometimes the water can back up into the meter itself. If your meter has started collecting water, it may be a sign of a leak. Check the areas where your supply line comes above the ground or where it enters your home. If the floor or soil surrounding it is constantly wet, there’s likely an issue.
  • From the tub or faucet – If your tub or faucet is constantly dripping, and you know for certain you have turned it all the way off, then it may be time to have someone come check it out.
  • In the pool or fountain – When the water levels drop an eighth of an inch of more in a 24-hour period, there could be a leak. You should also check for cracks, algae growth, and the surrounding soil for wet spots.
  • In the toilet – If there is a problem in a larger toilet, it will often hiss or gurgle consistently. Make sure to check the inside of the tank as well by lifting off the top. The water level should be no higher than an inch below the top.
  • From the evaporative cooler – The best way to check for leaks with these systems is to completely shut them off and observe the water drainage through the overflow line, where all the liquid is directed.

Is There a Tool to Detect a Water Leak?

There is no one “catch-all” tool for detecting a leak, but your water meter is always a great place to start. You can easily perform a leak check with the following steps:

Turn off all of the water inside and outside of your home or building. This includes all the automatic water users. Then, read your meter, wait 15 minutes, and take another reading. Make sure no one uses any water during that time. If there is a recorded water usage in this period, it could mean there’s a leak.

With or without the meter test, if you suspect an issue, your best option is always to call in the experts, like the team at All Dry USA.


Water leaks are a big problem that can only become worse if unchecked. With the help of a knowledgeable team like All Dry USA, your leaks will be repaired in a flash. Call today to schedule an appointment or to find out more!

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