Here’s how to find water leaks in your home’s plumbing

Throughout the life of their home, most homeowners experience some kind of plumbing leak at some point. Some leaks are obvious, like frozen pipes that burst. Others are hidden, like loose connections in under floor plumbing lines. The sooner you see a leak, the sooner you can fix it, but you first need to know how to find it. That’s where we come in!

At Wagner, we offer expert leak detection services here in Albuquerque. For 24/7 plumbing repair service, give us a call today!

Water leaks like this one can cause serious water damage in your home.

Water leaks like this one can cause serious water damage in your home.

How do you know when you have a water leak?

Here are just some of the signs that you might have a water leak somewhere in your home or on your property:

  • Drastic, sudden increase in water bills
  • Musty smells
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Wet spots
  • Stains on floors, ceilings, and walls
  • Visible mold and mildew (outside of the shower)
  • Hissing sounds when water isn’t being used

Confirming you have a leak

If you notice any of the above signs, the first step is to confirm you have an active leak. Start by ensuring no water is being used inside the house (sinks, showers, dish washers, washing machines) or outside (hoses, fountains, etc.).

Once you’re sure no water is being used, check the leak indicator on your water meter. Usually a triangular dial or silver wheel, the leak indicator spins when there is water flowing through the meter. If no water is being used and the indicator is spinning, you likely have a plumbing leak.

Finding the source of water leaks

You first need to isolate whether the leak is inside or outside. This is easily done by turning off the main water shutoff valve and checking the water meter leak indicator again. If the indicator has stopped moving, the leak is inside the house, if it keeps moving, the leak is between the meter and the house.

If the leak is indoors:

  • Make sure the flapper valve in toilet tank seals completely
  • Check for water under sinks
  • Inspect showers and tubs for drips
  • Look for puddles around washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters

If the leak is outdoors:

  • Look for standing water near spigots
  • Check for wet spots near sprinklers and irrigation systems when they aren’t being used
  • Inspect plumbing lines to outdoor water features

What is professional leak detection?

Even using the methods above, you may not be able to pinpoint the exact location of a leak inside of your home. Leaks can be deceiving: the place where water damage is may not be where the leak is originating from. In fact, it’s not unheard of for an upstairs leak to drip down to a downstairs wall.

In such a situation, you have two options:

  • Make some less-than-educated guesses about where the leak is and start hacking away at your drywall trying to find it.
  • Bringing in a professional for expert leak detection.

Here’s what a professional has that you probably do not: acoustic detection equipment. This is the bread-and-butter of finding hidden leaks. Here’s how it works:

When the water in a pipe moves past a crack or fissure and leaks out, it generates sound and vibration. This is slight: even listening your hardest, you’ll never hear it. It’s far below the range of human ears. But, it is there, and thanks to electronic equipment, it can be detected. Acoustic leak detection traces the source of the sound back to its point of origin, giving our plumber a pinpoint location for the hidden leak, whether it’s behind a wall, in a ceiling, or under the foundation.

Of course, our plumbers have ways of verifying this location. In addition to leak detection, we have endoscopic snake tools that we can push into pipes to visibly see the leak or hole in the pipe. This is most useful once the plumber has a general ballpark idea of where the leak is.

From there, it’s just a matter of cutting into the drywall in that exact spot to access and repair the leak.

Repairing plumbing leaks

Always call a professional plumber to help you find, diagnose, and fix leaks. A water leak in your home is no time for DIY work! Our plumbers here at Wagner can help you find hidden leaks and deal with them fast, before they cause more damage to your home.

For 24/7 plumbing service here in Albuquerque, call our team today!

On vs Auto: Which is the better thermostat setting?

Thermostats have a wide range of features and controls that most homeowners never end up looking into or using. This goes double for smart thermostats. By adjusting your thermostat settings to better fit your home’s comfort needs, you can save money every single year. In this article, we’ll review the on versus auto settings, and discuss how smart thermostats have changed the ballgame when it comes to automating your indoor comfort.

Need thermostat services here in Albuquerque? You’re in the right place. Wagner offers thermostat repair and installation services. Contact us today to schedule service.

Setting your thermostat for optimal comfort and energy savings

Here’s what you need to know about the on and auto thermostat settings and how they impact your home’s comfort year-round.

What is the on thermostat setting?

Setting the thermostat settings to ‘On’ keeps the fan running at all times. When the fan is kept running, the air is pulled through the in-built filtration system that keeps it clean. In addition, keeping the fan running will result in fewer starts and stops of the fan thereby reducing the risk of a malfunction.

The major disadvantage of keeping the fan running is that it jacks up the heating bills. Unless variable speed motor is installed, it will cost you as much as $50 per month to keep the fun running 24/7. Another con of keeping the fan running constantly is that the air filter will tend to clog up quickly due to which you will have to change the filter frequently.

Also, when the fan is running, you will feel cold air coming from the vents. While the temperature of the air will be similar to that of the space heater, it will feel cold when compared to your body temperature.

What is the auto thermostat setting?

The ‘Auto’ thermostat function will make the fan run according to your specified settings. The fan can be controlled through a timer circuit inside the unit. Generally, the auto setting will start the furnace fan about half a minute after the burner is lit. The fan is turned off about a minute after the desired temperature is reached.

With a programmable thermostat, you can automate your thermostat setting for optimal comfort and efficiency.

With a programmable thermostat, you can automate your thermostat setting for optimal comfort and efficiency.

The main benefit of setting the thermostat to ‘Auto’ is that it will result in more energy efficient usage. This is because the fan will run only when it’s required. Also, the air filter will need to be changed or cleaned less frequently when the thermostat setting is set to ‘Auto’.

However, more starts and stops will mean that the fan will wear out more quickly. In addition, it will result in the less efficient distribution of heat inside the room.

Conclusion

The above discussion will make it clear to you whether ‘On’ or ‘Auto’ thermostat setting is right for you. If you want to keep the energy bills low, you should set the thermostat to ‘Auto’. However, if you prefer more even distribution of heat inside the house, it’s better that you set the thermostat setting to ‘On’.

What about smart thermostats?

Also known as “programmable thermostats,” smart thermostats are the 21st century answer to the traditional “dial” thermostats most homes used to feature. Smart thermostats come in a variety of sizes, shapes, makes, and models, but—regardless of which one you buy—they all have one feature in common: automated temperature settings. With this thermostat, you can program the temperature of your home ahead of time on your smartphone, and then the thermostat will automatically adjust the cooling or heating system when you’re away, at home, or sleeping.

This helps homeowners save money because it removes the human element—that is to say, you personally having to turn the dial before leaving for work—from the equation. All-in-all, upgrading to a smart thermostat can cut your cooling and heating costs by up to 10% annually. This makes it one of the best ways to make your home more energy-efficient. Other tips include:

Have thermostat questions? Call us!

If you want more information about thermostats, as well as installation tips from certified and professional technicians in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, contact us at Wagner.