Calgary Leak Detection: 7 Signs Your Home Has a Hidden Plumbing Leak

A pipe with a nearby puddle on the floor of a home in need of leak detection in Calgary.

Most people love the sound of a rushing waterfall or babbling brook when they're outside enjoying nature — but the sound of running water is a lot less pleasant when it is coming from inside the walls or ceilings of your home or commercial building in Calgary. Leak detection is essential when you experience issues like a dripping faucet or a constantly running toilet. It’s annoying and will drive up your water bill unnecessarily. But at least they are safely contained within a fixture and can't do any real, immediate damage to your property.

However, household leaks that come from a damaged pipe or loose fitting inside your wall or under your floor are another matter entirely. They can cause severe and extensive damage in a very short time, like a basement flood or structural damage that threatens the stability of residential or commercial properties. The sooner you call for Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary’s leak detection services, the sooner a team of experts can start with repairs.

But how do you figure out where exactly the problem is located? Do you have to rip open the walls and dig a huge trench across the lawn? While leak detection in the past could have been very damaging to properties, it was necessary to find and stop the water damage. Fortunately, your local Calgary plumbers now have access to non-invasive leak detection technologies that make the detection process more efficient and effective than in years past. Our experienced Calgary leak detection experts will pinpoint the location of the issue in your plumbing system so we can get it resolved quickly, and you'll have peace of mind knowing your property isn't suffering any further moisture damage.

How Does Calgary Leak Detection Work?

Our team of Calgary plumbers uses non-invasive methods for leak detection to inspect your pipes visually and in other ways, all without having to open up walls or dig trenches outside. Once we have accurate leak location information, we can go directly to the exact location to uncover the pipe or use even less invasive pipe replacement and repair techniques to seal up the weak point in your pipe.

  • Video Camera Inspections: Have you ever wished you could see what's really going on inside your pipes? With video plumbing inspection, you can. This effective method of inline leak detection involves a small video camera with a bright LED light on the end of a long, flexible cable. It is lowered into your drain and manoeuvred through the pipe, recording video footage of everything it "sees." After the camera has been retrieved, your plumber can playback the leak video and interpret the footage to find the likely location of the mystery crack. The monitor itself won’t exactly help us with leak detection. Calgary AB homeowners can watch along with us when we locate damaged areas, but to make sure that’s the leak area, we’ll need extra assurance from our other devices.
  • Infrared Detection Equipment: Our infrared cameras can detect temperatures through walls, soil, and everything else up to a depth of 30 meters and create a heat map of the temperature zones around your pipes that allows your plumber to see where water is seeping into surfaces that it shouldn't be touching.
  • Pressure Testing Devices: Does your water pressure seem lower than it used to be? That's an indication that something is wrong. Flow readings and pressure tests won't tell us the location of the break, as well as the methods listed above, but they are simple and helpful methods of confirming that there's a problem in your plumbing system.

What Do I Need Calgary Leak Detection Services For?

Slab Leak Detection

Calgary AB homes that fell victim to slab leaks will know through obvious telltale signs. It’s common for newer homes to experience home settling over the years, during which soil shifting is part of the game. But unfortunately, slab leaks can occur when a broken or cracked pipe is located under a concrete foundation pad. It’s either caused by soil shifting or even poor installation during construction service. Your certified Calgary plumber will be able to tell. If left untreated for too long, chances are the leak will continue onto the concrete beneath your home. Needless to say, that makes it pretty difficult to locate the exact pipe leak. Video cameras and infrared detection can be useful, but we also use additional diagnosis solutions like acoustic sensors, thermal imaging, and soil probes for slab leak detection. Calgary AB homeowners will be able to tell a slab leak if their basement wall and ceiling are leaking water. But not on a rainy day! It’s essential that you shut off your water during this emergency plumbing situation and call a professional right away before your home’s structural integrity is compromised.

Water Main Break

If you hear running water behind your wall and ceiling, you will need to turn off your supply line. Often, our ears are the greatest help with leak detection. Calgary AB homes with broken water mains could trigger costly property damage as well as a sudden spike in their utility bill. It can go undetected until signs of damage creep up. Scheduling your routine plumbing maintenance is the best way to prevent potential water damage, along with preventive measures like installing a backwater valve to prepare for extreme weather conditions like Calgary’s rainiest month in June. During a water line leak, it’s crucial to ensure it doesn’t get in contact with contaminants.

Sewer Line Damage

Calgary leak detection services under the soil are by far the most challenging task that requires many tests. As we have touched upon sewer cameras and sound technology before, we rely heavily on three tools for leak detection. Calgary AB homeowners will get a thorough diagnosis when we’re done.

Natural Gas Pipeline Damage

As long as gas-powered water heaters are installed properly, there shouldn’t be a concern. Yet, gas leaks and methane emissions are safety hazards because carbon monoxide is highly flammable and fatal. While natural gas is naturally odourless, some gas companies have added a hint of rotten egg smell to help people notice equipment failure, so they call for gas leak detection. Calgary AB property owners are advised to keep carbon monoxide detectors equipped with new batteries and place them near appliances that use gas lines.

What Are The Repair Solutions For Underground Lines?

There are various options for repair after a detection service, but it will all depend on the ultimate diagnosis. Some standard repair services we offer include:

  • Pipe Rerouting: Cutting into existing pipe and repositioning them
  • Trenchless Technology: Either pipe lining or pipe bursting to rehabilitate the damaged pipe using the trenchless method. Relining involves inserting an inflatable, epoxy-soaked felt tube into the existing pipe, whereas bursting involves breaking the old pipe into pieces before directing a new one in place.
  • Slab Tunnelling: Another form of trenchless where your local Calgary plumber will dig a small tunnel to treat the affected area.
  • Excavation: This is the traditional way of breaking through concrete to access broken pipes—the last resort and also the most costly leak detection method.

The final decision comes down to your pipe’s overall health. Trenchless is only possible if it’s intact. We will need to replace lines that have collapsed or are severely corroded due to old age or a lack of maintenance.

Warning Signs Your Home Needs Leak Detection

Calgary AB homeowners know their property by heart and could possibly tell by the symptoms of a hidden plumbing issue. Whether your water pressure is fluctuating or you smell mould in the walls, Calgary leak detection services will take care of this problem before it spirals into much more severe damage. Keep watch for the following warning signs that trouble is coming down the pipe.

1. Water Damage on Walls, Floors, or Ceiling

If you've got a broken pipe inside your home, chances are there are some outward signs on your walls, floors, or ceiling. Examine drywall and other surfaces carefully for issues such as sagging, stains, warping, bubbling, softening, loose joint tape, and other telltale signs of excess moisture. You may also find soggy patches of carpet or rotting wood on floors, wainscotting, wall panelling, window frames, and door jambs.

2. Drop in Water Pressure

Whether you’re doing the dishes or taking a shower and notice that you’re not getting the desired pressure to get things clean, you might want to check your pressure regulator first. However, not every household has access to one. You probably have to contact the city to help you regulate your water pressure on their end or call your Calgary plumber for assistance. But if they identify that the regulator is not the culprit, you might have a leak somewhere. Don’t despair; we’ll locate it as soon as we can using leak detection. Calgary AB homes are in safe hands!

3. Mould and Mildew Growth

Mould and mildew are fungal growths that thrive in damp conditions. They are very damaging to your house, but even worse, they pose a health hazard to you and your family. If you spot patches of mould or mildew growing on your walls, ceiling, or floors, there's a good chance there is excess water and a lot more mould and mildew hidden on the other side.

While mould spores begin to grow rapidly once they access moisture, it can take a couple of weeks for them to become visible. So, if you smell mould but don't see it, it should be dealt with on the spot. If you catch it early and get the problem resolved, you can avoid much worse damage.

4. Sewer Gas Smells

Do you smell that? It’s coming from your sink. Foul odours from your sink can indicate many things, from a clogged p-trap to blocked vent pipe to a main drain clog. Without a licensed plumber’s detailed inspection, you won’t know if you have water leak damage or even a tree root intrusion in your sewer line.

5. Cracks in Wall or Ceiling

An underground, ongoing leak can soften the soil and cause it to shift, which in turn causes your house to sink and shift, which can put significant stress on the building’s structure. Cracks on your drywall or ceiling are often the first visible beside your exterior cladding. This is a very serious problem that can result from a number of issues that may or may not be leak-related, but Calgary leak detection is a must to confirm or rule out a plumbing disaster.

6. Puddles of Water Under or Near Fixtures or Outside

If you spot a big pool of water on your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room floor, and you have no idea how it got there, that's obviously a bad sign. Sometimes the problem isn't with your lines, it's the connection where the fixture and the pipe are joined together that is loose and dripping water under the floor. If you have a suspicious soggy area on your lawn, that's also a noteworthy problem that could be caused by a damaged underground pipe. In that case, you will likely need trenchless sewer repair to recover your plumbing system’s original functions.

7. Increased Utility Bill

Have you noticed that you are paying more on your water bill, even though you're pretty sure your water usage hasn't changed? Leaks can lead to a huge amount of water loss, so this definitely qualifies as an indication that you need pipeline leak detection. Calgary AB plumbers will be able to figure out if it's actually a broken pipe or if there is something else causing your plumbing system to lose efficiency.

Do You Suspect a Hidden Leak in Your Calgary Home? Trust Mr. Rooter for Accurate Leak Detection

Calgary AB homes deserve the best plumbing services. The whole city has experienced plumbing disasters in the past, but we have survived them. Now we know better to keep up with our maintenance services and plumbing repairs. Whether you're in Glamorgan, Forest Lawn, Acadia, or another part of the Calgary area, you can rely on the service professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary to put your mind at ease with expert leak detection services.

Give us a call today at to book a service appointment with our friendly customer service staff, and we'll show you why we're considered Calgary's best choice for reliable plumbing services like leaking pipe repair and other plumbing repair services.