PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Have you ever received a water bill that seemed unusually high?

The reason for such a drastic increase is usually a leak somewhere, but Angie’s List has some tips about how you can spot one.

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We often don’t think about the plumbing in our homes, until something goes wrong.

A leak, if left untreated or undetected, can lead to serious damage and costly repairs.

“For example, a leak behind a wall could require drywall repair. A small drywall repair job can cost as much as $400, not to mention if you end up with mold,” Angie Hicks form Angie’s List said.

It’s always best to tackle plumbing leaks – even small ones – immediately.

“Easy signs of leaks in your house could be the fact that you have stains on your walls, if you have wallpaper that’s buckling, or even a wooden floor that’s buckling, or if you just smell a musty smell you need to have that investigated,” Hicks said.

There are a couple of simple ways to check if your toilet is leaking.

Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes.

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If the food coloring has entered the toilet bowl without the toilet being flushed, you know you have a leak.

Another thing you can do is lay toilet paper along the base of the toilet and flush the toilet.

“If it’s leaking you’ll begin to see the water wicking into the tissue paper. Or if it’s dripping from the tank it will drip down and hit the toilet paper and you’ll see it. That’s one way to tell if there’s even the slightest leak,” plumbing contractor Justin Dorsey said.

It’s important to know where your water shut off valve is located in your home if you do have a leak.

“When hiring a plumber, a plumber typically needs to have a trade license – a plumbing license. You need to be sure that you are not confusing that with a business license. All companies typically need a business license to operate, but plumbing needs a plumbing specific license,” Hicks said.

Some additional sources for water loss include dripping faucets within the house and a garden hose being left open for days.


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