Plumbing inspections in the US cost $200 on average, according to Thumbtack. That is a hefty sum you would want to avoid paying, considering that you might be facing even more expensive repair costs. The best way to avoid that is to do your own plumbing inspection. DIY inspection and diagnosis let you pinpoint issues yourself to do your own repairs. Alternatively, you can direct plumbers to focus on the problems you identified to minimize costs.
Preliminary Inspections You Must Do
Before doing an in-depth exploration of your water system, you should first check for errors on the surface level. The taps in your house should be the first thing you check. Run water through every faucet and showerhead and see if you can find discoloration or low water pressure. Stuttering flow and strange noises can also be indicative of issues. As for sewage lines, odors and overgrown plants are the most apparent signs of leakage. For best results, it is recommended that you do inspections like this every week.
Aside from checking your water output quality, you should also inspect your valves, pipes, and meters. You are best advised to do this at least once a month. Discrepancies between the water meter readings and your usage should clue you in on whether or not you have a leak. Test valves to see if they successfully prevent the passage of water once you shut them. Detecting leaks on exposed pipes is relatively easy. But in case you are worried about small, hard-to-find leaks, look for signs of dampening in the area.
In-Depth Inspection Methods
More thorough methods of inspection are required when the problem is not readily perceptible. A common trick in detecting toilet leaks can also be applied to other parts of your water system. The trick involves putting food coloring in the tank to see if the color leaks into the bowl. The same principle can be applied to other water systems in the home. For example, dropping food coloring throughout your swimming pool can show you where a leak is depending on where the colored water gathers.
However, when the problem might exist within the pipes themselves, more specialized equipment is needed. Debris and grease buildup can cause congestion in your water lines, which can evolve into much worse issues later on. This is most common in sewer lines. To nip such an issue in the bud, you would need a proper pipe inspection system such as SPI pipe cameras. These can mean the difference between the early detection of a problem and paying plumbers for a pipe survey that may turn out to be a false alarm.
Preventing Unnecessary Plumbing Costs
If your water meter is still telling you that there is a leak, but you can’t find it using the aforementioned methods, it is time to call in professional plumbers. However, some contractors may make you pay for repairs you don’t need. This is almost always the case if they rely solely on their pipe camera. A pipe camera is unreliable when it comes to detecting leaks.
Observe the plumbers closely and verify that they are not using methods that you have already employed. If they aren’t, you can be more confident that their findings would be genuine issues.