Water Leakage in Walls: How to Detect Hidden Water Damage

Did you know that a tiny crack, just 1/8 of an inch, in a pipe would result in 250 gallons of water leaked in one day?

Not only is that a lot of water wasted, but if left unaddressed, water damage can affect your drywall, insulation, floors and more. Plus, water damaged walls are prime breeding grounds for health-hazardous mold.

Read on for the top signs that you have water leakage in walls.

A High Water Bill

If your water bill is drastically higher than the previous bills, it could be a sign that you have a pipe leak or running toilet.

That’s particularly true if your water use habits haven’t really changed.

If you aren’t sure, track your meter reading from now until the end of the week or month. Then compare that number to a previous reading, and see how it compares.

Musty Smell in a Room

If you detect a moldy or musty smell in your home, you likely have an undetected wall leak somewhere in the room. Even if you can’t seem anything unusual, a musty, dank smell indicates the presence of mold and mildew.

The water damage may not have spread enough to be visible through your floor or walls, but it’s likely there under the surface, slowly growing.

Act quickly and hire a reliable plumbing service to come and take a look. Mold is dangerous for you and your family’s health.

The CDC warns that indoor exposure to mold has been linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheezing in healthy people. It’s even more of a health risk for people with chronic illness as for as for children and seniors.

Cracks in Your Home’s Foundation

When you walk around the outside of your house, look for any cracks in the foundation. It’s common for a house to develop cracks as it settles into the ground.

However, if you find a crack that correlates to the smell of mold or any of the other signs of a leak, this crack could be the culprit.

Also, leaks in your pipes could cause the foundation to weaken. That means you may begin to see more and more cracks over time.

Water Damage Stains

Another telling sign of hidden water leaks is discoloration on your floors, walls, or ceiling.

Look for any small or large spots that may be wet or dry, which were not there before. This is a sign that there is a leak under that surface.

To avoid breaking your floor or walls to find the leak, hire a professional to perform a water leak detection in your home. Using specialized tools, a technician can pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from and save you from extra wall repairs.

Warped Materials

If you notice warped or bubbling walls or floors, you might have a hidden leak somewhere nearby.

When water doesn’t get dried right away, it causes flooring and drywall to warp. You might see cracked or chipping paint. Or your floors may begin to spread or buckle.

If you see any of this, there’s a high probability that your home has a hidden leak in the plumbing that needs fixing.

Prevent and Fix Water Leakage in Walls

If you see any of these signs of a water leakage in walls or floors of your home, take action immediately.

The sooner you deal with a leak, the less expensive it becomes. If left unattended, the issue will snowball into a much bigger repair.

Read more about water pipe leak detection to learn how this service can save you time and money!

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger (It’s Not as Gross as You’d Think!)

You met online and are three dates deep.

One tragic evening, in the middle of an elaborate sushi-making process, your new date turns the conversation to politics. Thinking fast, you break up the tension by excusing yourself to visit the bathroom.

You do your business, pull the knob, and NOTHING happens. Your face flushes as you search unsuccessfully for a plunger.

“You alright in there?” Your date asks.

Caught with your pants down!

But this scenario isn’t cause for panic. Most bathrooms are equipped with all sorts of useful items for how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

Good Old Wire Hanger Trick

If the bathroom has an adjoining closet, chances are good you can find a wire hanger.

Untwist the hanger till it’s fully extended and use it to prod around the clog. The hanger will break up whatever’s in the way allowing it to flush easily.

Hot Water and Slippery Soap Sloaps

This is an easy trick provided you can find a container for the water.

Put hand soap, laundry detergent, body wash, dish soap, or shampoo directly into the toilet bowl. These substances create slippery surfaces that discourage further clogging.

A cup, bucket, or wastebasket (remove the liner first) works well to transfer hot water from the sink or tub. Once added to the soap-laden toilet, the hot water will loosen the clot while the soap discourages things from re-sticking on their way down the drain.

Pour Some Bleach in the Porcelain Bowl

Bleach is a strong substance that dramatically changes the chemical makeup of any liquid it comes in contact with. Add generous amounts to the water in a clogged toilet.

When it comes to toilet paper and other fibrous material, bleach can be just the thing to soften difficult blocks. It also helps eliminate undesirable odors.

Toilet Brushes Can Help with Flushes

This is a messier option that works well when the above resources are scarce.

Push the head of a toilet brush into the drain hole as far as it will go until the bristles are crunched against the sides. Next, use the toilet brush as a battering ram until the clog is free.

You will want to give the brush a good rinse with the new water that fills the bowl. Chances are good it will take more than one flush to clear all debris from the bristles.

The Last Resort For How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger: Plastic Bag Method

This method may be just as humbling as leaving the scene of the crime to ask your host for help. Consider all options wisely before taking this plunge.

Using a glove or plastic bag as a covering, you can clear the roadblock by hand. Be sure not to flush the bag or glove as this will make the clog much worse. Once a clean flush is achieved, a shower should quickly follow.

For More Information

Whether it’s questions about leak detection, general plumbing, drainage, repiping, sewage cameras, or more about how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, you can find all your answers in one place.

At Manny’s Leak Detection Inc. our professionals are efficient as well as personable. For more information about our family owned business take a look at our contact page.

Or discover more simple solutions for all life’s little leaks and clogs by checking out our blog.

Standing Water: What Is It and How to Get Rid of It

The CDC states that standing water has several health risks including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.

A pond of water in your yard can also kill your grass and plants and damage the foundation of your home.

Here are the causes of standing water and what you can do about it to protect your home and family.

Causes of Standing Water

There are several possible causes for standing water in the yard after rain showers.

The first thing to check for is overwatering. If it rains and the grass and soil are already wet, the rain water can’t go into the ground and sits on the surface.

If your home has an automatic sprinkler, reduce how often it waters your grass and cut down on the number of minutes each time.

Another reason you might be getting standing water is due to the grading of your lawn. The slope of the yard should direct runoff water towards the storm sewer or street.

This is a self-perpetuating problem. If the grading is not correct and water collects on the yard, it causes a low spot. These low spots collect more water each time it rains and the spot gets bigger and bigger.

Problems Due to Standing Water

Standing water is not just unsightly. It poses a threat to your family’s health and your home.

Pools of water are breeding grounds for mosquitos. And mosquitos can carry serious diseases such as the Zika virus.

Water that collects near your home’s foundation is a big problem. On average, homeowners pay $4000 to fix foundation issues in their homes.

Water near your foundation can also cause a flood in your basement and damage your property and cause mold to grow. Slab leak detection is another way to prevent basement damage.

It is much better to prevent these problems by ensuring rainwater flows away from your house than it is to deal with the consequences.

Solutions

There are a couple of solutions for how to soak up water in the backyard.

Re-grade

The first is to re-grade. A landscaper design company can advise you on how to change the angle of your lawn so that proper drainage can happen when it rains. You can also regrade your yard yourself if you feel up to the task.

Install a French Drain

Another option is to install a drainage system called a french drain. This system uses a perforated pipe that runs along the yard in a trench filled with gravel.

The trench is sloped towards the street sewer and away from the house. The gravel in the trench channels the water into the perforated pipe in the trench.

Check out HGTV’s tutorial on how to install a french drain.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found this article on standing water helpful. Though it can be a lot of work to ensure proper yard drainage, it is important to protect your home’s foundation and your family.

Do you suspect you have a leaking pipe in the house? Let us provide you with a leak inspection before a cracked or burst pipe costs you a lot of money in property damage.

How to Tell If You Have a Leaky Gas Line

An undiscovered gas leak is a frightening thought for any homeowner. If gone untreated, a leak can lead to a number of health issues for you and your family, including nausea, headaches, or even irregular breathing.

The best prevention is to educate yourself on the warning signs so you know what to look for if you suspect a problem. If you find an issue, it’s imperative you call a professional right away.

To help you out, we’re going over how to detect a gas leak on your property. Understanding the warning signs is the best way to keep your family safe and prevent costly bills.

A Strange Odor

A gas leak is often associated with an unusual odor. The best way to describe it is a rotten egg or sulfuric smell.

This natural gas smell is caused by mercaptan, an additive the utility company uses to create an odor that’s easy to detect. Otherwise, the gas is odorless.

It’s important to note that some people don’t pick up on the smell, so it’s important to understand additional warning signs.

Listen for a Hissing Sound

Another good indicator of a gas leak is a hissing sound coming from the line. This could mean you’re dealing with a significant leak. You’ll want to get a professional involved immediately.

You also may hear a hissing sound coming from your HVAC system. This is an indication of a refrigerant leak or a faulty compressor. You’ll need to turn off your AC and call a technician.

The Bubble Test

If you suspect a gas leak but aren’t positive, you can perform a simple test to confirm the issue.

First, create a mixture of equal parts water and soap. Then, use a brush to apply the mixture to your gas line, ensuring you cover all fitting and connections.

If there’s a gas leak, you’ll notice tiny bubbles forming in the area where gas is escaping.

Higher Gas Bills

It’s easy for a small gas leak to go unnoticed. Although you may not notice any strange smells or sounds, gas could be escaping very gradually.

When this is the case, you’ll most likely begin to see your gas bills increasing. If this happens, either perform the bubble test or call a technician in to confirm.

Dead Plants and Vegetation

Gas leaks don’t only happen inside your home. They can also occur underground somewhere on your property.

If you notice plants and vegetation suddenly dying in a given area of your lawn, it’s possible you have a leak. This happens as a result of natural gas restricting the amount of oxygen available your plants.

If you have a garden, your vegetables may change color if natural gas is present in the soil underneath them. You’ll need to have your gas line inspected right away.

Understanding How to Detect a Gas Leak

By knowing the warning signs, you’ll have peace of mind your family and home are protected. Now that you understand how to detect a gas leak, it’s a good idea to perform regular checks. If you discover an issue, play it safe and call an expert.

We provide a full range of leak detection services throughout Southern California. Contact us today.

How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink: 7 Methods

There are certain skills that every commercial and residential occupant should have.

From changing a lightbulb to patching a hole in the wall to unclogging a sink. These are all important things to know how to do but we think unclogging a sink is one of the most important.

So where do you begin if you have a clogged sink? And what if you don’t have a plunger? Not to worry.

We’ve put together a list of seven different ways that’ll prepare you when you’re curious on how to unclog a bathroom sink.

1. The Wire Hanger Method

This is the classic, tried-and-true method when it comes to unclogging a sink.

Take a wire hanger and straighten it out as best as you can. On one end make a small curve that can facilitate a hook. Fish the hanger down the drain and begin removing the gunk that is clogging your sink.

Make sure to remember that instead of pushing the hanger further down the drain, you should be focusing on removing the debris.

2. Baking Soda & Vinegar

If you want another DIY method to unclog your sink, look in your spice cabinet!

Pull out the baking soda, vinegar, and a mixing bowl. Mix together 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of vinegar. This mixture will begin to fizz almost immediately, and after it’s started to fizz pour it down your sink.

Let this concoction marinate in your drain for at least an hour. The fizzing action should break down the gunk stuck in your drain. After an hour, flush the drain with hot water and it should be as good as new!

3. Down to the Boiling Point

If you don’t have baking soda or vinegar, another easy DIY is to use boiling water. Boil a pot of water and flush it down the sink. If the water fills up the sink and doesn’t drain, allow the water to cool and remove it with a cup or ladle.

Repeat the process with another pot of boiling water until the clog easily drains.

4. For the Aspiring Handyman

If you’re wanting to be a bit more hands-on approach then break out your wrench. Open the cabinet under your sink and locate the U-shaped pipe (aka the Trap) and put a bucket under it.

Using your wrench, unscrew the bolts that hold the Trap in place. By unscrewing the Trap, water and debris that are trapped within will pour out into the bucket underneath. You might need to use an old toothbrush to wiggle the remaining debris out of the pipes, but this should solve your clog.

Once you’ve removed all debris, screw the trap back into place. If you have any leaks in the trap, this may also be a good time to assess them.

5. The Plumber Pipe

If this isn’t your first clogged drain, then you might have a plumber’s snake. If this isn’t your first clogged drain and you don’t have a snake, it might be time to invest in one.

These tools are specifically designed to remove excess debris from pipes. They can be found at your local hardware and are a good tool to have on hand. Fish the snake down the drain until you feel resistance. Move the snake up and down where you feel resistance and the debris should come loose.

6. Drain Detergents

Also found at your local hardware store should be a section of detergents specifically geared toward removing drain clogs.

Pick up one of these detergents from your hardware store and follow it’s directions. Allow the detergent to clear out the pipe for as long as instructions say. After you’ve used the necessary amount of detergent, flush hot water down the drain. It should flush the way it’s supposed to.

7. Call in the Caustic Soda

If you’ve tried detergents, snakes and boiling water to no avail, go back to your hardware store and ask for caustic soda (otherwise known as Sodium Hydroxide).

This is one of the more extreme ways to handle a clogged sink but it should get the job done. If you chose to go this route, make sure you have protective eyewear and rubber gloves to avoid chemical burns.

Pour 3/4 gallon of cold water into a mop bucket and add three cups of caustic soda into the mix. Stir the mix with a wooden spoon and it should fizz and heat up. Pour this down the drain and leave it for 30 minutes. After the mixture has sat for that long, pour boiling water to remove any excess caustic soda.

How to Unclog A Bathroom Sink

There you have it! Seven ways that’ll help you better understand how to unclog a bathroom sink.

Hopefully, one of these ways will allow you to better understand how to unclog a bathroom sink. If you’re still having issues or questions, feel free to shoot us a message! We’d love to help in any way we can.

Otherwise, happy unclogging!

How Does Water Pipe Leakage Detection Work?

Is your water bill higher than usual? There’s a good chance that you might have a leak.

Having a leaky pipe can quickly lead to some pretty big problems. If the leakage continues, it could lead to you having major pipe damage, and can even ruin the structure of your home or business.

So how do you go about dealing with this?

Well, for starters, you need to find out if you have a leak, and if so, where that leak is located.

The process is actually easier than you think. Keep reading to learn what it takes to detect leaks and protect your structure from water damage.

How Does Water Pipe Leakage Detection Work?

Water pipe leakage detection happens with the use of electronic leak detection. This is a system that uses acoustics, or sound patterns, produced by an electric leak detector to find the leak in your pipes.

The electronic leak detector can detect the sound of any leaks within your pipeline by using a device called a transducer. The transducer can pick up the sound and amplifies the noise of dripping water caused by the leak.

The level of amplification depends on how big the leak really is. If there’s only a tiny drip, the detector will produce a lighter sound, and if there is a bigger leak, the frequency will be much louder.

Of course, other factors such as the makeup of the pipes and the location of the leak factor into this as well. The water pipe leakage detector is designed to analyze all of this and tell the plumber where exactly the leak is.

After the plumber picks up the sound, he or she will be able to know what type of leak they’re working with and the steps they’ll have to take to fix it.

Why Do I Need This?

Obviously, a leak can cause a lot of damage to your house or business, and repairs will drain your wallet.

You can avoid all of this by having someone bring in an electronic leak detector to inspect your pipes.

Bringing in an experienced plumber to use the electronic leak detector would be relatively inexpensive, and if you catch leaks early, you can quickly make the minor repairs to get you back on track.

Even if you know where a leak is, there’s a chance that there may be other places along the pipeline where leaks are occurring. The detector could spot all of this and prevent the damage to your home or workplace.

Trust us; you’ll be glad you did.

Give Us A Call

When it comes to water leaks, nobody does it better than we do.

Water pipe leakage detection is our specialty, but we also offer general plumbing and repiping services as well, and there’s no job too big or too small for us to handle.

Check out our page to learn more about what we do. Want to talk instead? Leave us a message or give us a call, and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

Slab Leaks Are Dangerous- Here Are the Reasons Why

Slab leaks occur at the bottom of concrete slabs. They are far more dangerous than the leaks occurring at faucet or showerheads because they usually go unnoticed. This is why many people hire professionals to carry out regular leak detection to avoid facing unpleasant consequences later on.

A list of damages caused by slabs leaks is given below:

Health problems

As mentioned earlier, slab leaks stay around for a long time without being detected and encourage mold growth. This would gradually infect the space around you. When you are exposed to mold, it may provoke respiratory issues like coughing, wheezing, asthma etc.

Structural issues

Slab leaks could weaken the very foundation of your home. When the foundation shifts, it could eventually lead cracking and structural collapse. This condition is more common at homes where the foundations were built using concrete slabs. If left ignored, damage to the foundation would become more severe and you will have to pay a lot down the road to remedy it.

Leak manifestations

When water gathers underneath the floor boards of your home, it could cause damage to the flooring and soak carpets. Water leaks would also bring about nasty odors, especially if the damage is in the sewage line. In addition to that, leaks under the yard would damage your pool, landscape, walkways etc.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Thus, if you suspect any leak in your home, contact the experts servicing your area; including Los Angeles & Orange County CA.