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Detecting Leaks 101: How to Keep Your Home Leak-Free

leak in home

It may seem like an obvious thing, but not all leaks can be seen with the naked eye. Some can be hidden away in parts of your home or be tucked in less-visited areas. Gas leaks are especially concerning since they are not visible and can cause major damage to your property (and your health).

Reasons to Fix a Leak


Leaks are a simple problem that can leave significant damage at your home or living space. The national average cost to fix water damage is $3,000, though it greatly depends on the situation and damage level. And also dependent on the situation, the average cost to fix a gas leak on a single appliance is about $150 to $650, while replacing a home’s gas line could be in the $3,000 to $7,000 range.


Water damage causes mold and mildew to build up often in hard-to-see places. Mildew can be found in bathrooms or corners, while mold is a more serious problem, causing respiratory issues if a person is exposed.

For gas, there could be severe consequences if a leak occurs in your home. Gas in the air changes the level of oxygen available, causing serious health issues for members of the household. Symptoms to look out for include headache, dizziness, nausea, eye/throat irritation, fatigue, or breathing problems.

If you smell a slight odor, open all windows and turn off the pilot light, then call your gas company. If the smell is severe or pervasive, leave the area before calling. This is not a time to try and do it yourself. Gas can ignite under the right circumstances and cause an explosion.

How to Detect a Leak

  • Look at your bill. Is it going up without you using more-than-usual water? Was it the same even though you were on vacation for 2 weeks? Does your bill show you using more gas than usual? This could be a sign of a leak somewhere in the system.

  • Watch the meter. Turn off every water source in the home and look at your meter. If the meter changes right away, it could be a sign of a major leak. If it doesn’t change, check back a little later; if it changed, there may be a small leak.

  • Be aware of damage. Check your floors and cabinets for mold, which could be a sign of water damage. Also, carpets may show discoloration if affected by water. Outside, if you have a patch of grass that grows faster and lusher than the rest, it may indicate pooling water underground.

  • With gas, you may be able to smell rotten eggs. After checking your fridge, know that it might be a gas line or appliance leaking.

  • Dead houseplants are also a tell-tale sign of a gas leak.

What should I do next?

If you discover a serious leak, the best option is to call a good plumber. They will be able to fix the problem and get you set up with a system that works for you and is safe for your home. The experts at American Rooter Plumbing are uniquely prepared to help you with any plumbing needs.

If you are in an emergency situation, you should exit the home along with your family and any pets. Make a phone call away from the home for a gas leak, as it can ignite. Don’t return to the home until you have been cleared to do so by a professional. Make sure to air out the house and that your carbon monoxide alarms are working properly. For water leaks, make sure the issues are resolved and the system is tested. You can also educate yourself on leak detection so you may respond sooner in a future problem.

American Rooter Plumbing, are experts within the Omaha and surrounding areas and can provide top-notch service. Don’t take the risk, call us at (402) 298-5414 for all your plumbing needs!

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