While some leaks in taps and pipes are easy to see, others are harder to identify. If you suddenly start to hear dripping noises coming from inside a wall, then you may worry that you have a leaking or burst pipe concealed behind the surface.
How can you work out whether you have a leak behind your wall, and how can you fix it?
When Do You Hear Dripping?
In some cases, hearing the odd drip from behind a wall isn't a sign of anything serious. For example, you may hear the some dripping in a wall after you turn off a tap. If this dripping noise stops quickly, then it may just be residual water in the system settling down.
However, if the dripping noise you hear goes on for a while or happens all the time whether you've had a tap on or not, then this may be a sign that a pipe behind the wall has a leak or has burst. The more dripping you hear, the more serious the problem is likely to be.
Can You See Signs of Water Damage?
Sometimes, if you've had a pipe problem in a wall for a while, you see signs on or around the wall that water is getting where it shouldn't. For example, the wall may feel damp or wet to the touch and there may be some moisture around your skirting boards or floor.
Look at the wall to see if it has any signs of mould or damp on it. These are also good indicators that there is water behind the wall that shouldn't be there.
Can You Locate the Leak?
If you see evidence of water or damage, then you have a pretty good idea where the problem lies. Sometimes, however, there are no outward signs that help you pinpoint the leak's location. The drip may just come from a generalised area of the wall.
In this case, your best bet is to call out your plumber. They have plenty of experience of finding hidden leaks and pipe problems. If they can't immediately identify where the dripping comes from, they can use water line leak detection equipment to narrow down the leak's location.
For example, acoustic leak detectors follow the sound of pipe vibrations. When pipes burst or have a leak, they vibrate. These detectors use these vibrations to find the source of the dripping. This means that your plumber knows exactly where the problem lies so that they can fix it without having to do too much work on your wall.