Detect Pipe Leaks With a Plumbing Smoke Test

Even the tiniest of plumbing leaks can cost you; the increase that you see in your water bill is just the tip of the iceberg. The water dripping from plumbing leaks will cause water damage to your walls, floors ceiling, and fixtures. Leaks also create an environment conducive to the growth of mold. In the worst cases, plumbing leaks connected to sewage outlets will permeate deadly or flammable gasses throughout your home. The consequences of water damage include expensive renovation projects throughout the home to restore damaged drywall, sinks, water lines, and fixtures. To save money, it is essential to conduct a plumbing smoke test in the home to help detect crack in water and sewer pipes.

How Smoke Testing Works

A plumbing smoke test consists of creating visible smoke from candles or a liquid smoke solution. This smoke is transmitted into the water and sewage lines of the home. If there is a crack or small leak in a plumbing line, visible smoke will escape. This makes it easy for professional plumbers to detect plumbing line cracks, faulty connections or open pipes and perform the necessary repairs.

If visible smoke emerges during the plumbing smoke test, this is a clear indicator of a water or dangerous sewer gas leak. It is essential to detect and resolve sewer gas leaks as soon as possible. Sewage gas may contain methane or hydrogen sulfide gases. When the plumbing system is working properly, the traps will block the smoke from entering your home and transmit it to the plumbing vents. If you are unable to see smoke, you do not have any cracks, leaks, or open pipes in your home.

Plumbing smoke tests are not only useful for detecting basic pipe leaks. It can also be used to detect a number of other issues including:

  • Broken or damaged toilet seals
  • Damaged, dry or defective plumbing traps
  • Sewage leaks
  • Plumbing and sewage vent leaks

Why You Should Use Smoke Testing to Check for Plumbing Leaks

Proven reliability

Plumbing smoke tests have been used to detect gas and water leak repair issues for well over a century. Even with a number of technological advances spurring the development of alternative leak detection methods, smoke testing is still widely considered to be the most reliable method of testing for plumbing leaks.

Cost effectiveness

Despite it being the most reliable gas and water leak detection method for homes, it is still the least expensive way to confirm if there is a crack, leak, or damaged trap in the plumbing system.

Overall efficiency

Plumbing smoke tests are also the most efficient method of detecting plumbing leaks. Professional plumbing repair experts are able to quickly configure equipment to resolve water leak repair problems.

How to Perform a Plumbing Smoke Test in Your Home

There are two important steps that must be taken to get your home smoke tested for plumbing leaks:

1. Contact a Professional Plumbing Technician

Smoke testing your plumbing for leaks is not a do it yourself job. Properly executing the test and identifying the leaks requires a skill set that can only be developed through experience in the plumbing industry. This is why the first thing that you need to do is get in touch with a professional plumber who has experience with executing the plumbing smoke test.

2. Pour Water Down Your Drains

Smoke testing yields the best results when the pipes and plumbing traps are properly moisturized.

In order to ensure that none of your less used pipes and plumbing traps are dry during the smoke test, you will need to run water down every drain in your home for three to five minutes prior to having your plumbing smoke tested.

How Often Should You Use Smoke Testing to Check for Plumbing Leaks?

You should have your Jacksonville FL home smoke tested for plumbing leaks at least once per year; ideally you should have a smoke test with every change in season, as rapid seasonal climate changes can lead to pipe leaks.

Also, you should have your plumbing smoke tested any time that you have a new plumbing system installed. Do you need assistance with a plumbing repair issue? We offer plumbing services in Jacksonville and other areas of Florida. Give our team a call by phone at (904) 724-2455 or schedule an appointment to receive assistance.

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