Here’s what our team does to find hidden water leaks in your home

Sometimes, water leaks are obvious and staring you right in the face. When your faucet is dripping, your pipes under the sink is leaking, or there’s a problem with your dishwasher, you can actually see the water. However, what happens when there are hidden water leaks in your home that you can’t see? How do you go about finding those?

We’re talking about leaks that are behind interior walls, cabinets, or otherwise hidden from view. You need to contact Air Control Home Services for professional plumbing services.

The four big ways we hunt for hidden water leaks

#1. Eliminating all other sources of water

Hidden water leaks can be difficult to find.Before we do anything else, we’ll want to confirm that you do have a leak in an interior section of pipe. To do this, we’ll make sure all faucets, outlets, and other sources of water are completely shut off, and then shut off the water to your home.

After a while, we’ll check the water meter. If the dial indicates that there’s been water used, it’s probably from the leak, since no other part of the house should have water moving.

#2. Video inspection via a professional snake tool

Our plumbers have specialized, moisture-resistant snake tools on-hand that we can use to put down through your drain and wind through your pipes, looking for signs of a leak.

Of course, it’s not just a matter of the tools: only an experienced plumber can spot the subtle differences in water pressure that indicate that there’s a leak in the pipes.

Once we’ve located the approximate area of the leak using our snake tool, we’ll move on to our next method for finding the exact location of the leak.

#3. Listening very carefully (with specialized equipment)

Hidden water leaks inside walls and behind cabinets do make sound. However, this sound is so slight and so small that it’s impossible to hear with the human ear—even if your home is perfectly silent.

Our plumbers use specialized equipment to press up against the wall and hear “through” it. Then, our plumbers listen intently through headphones to “locate” the source of the sound by moving along the wall.

Think of this as a leak-finding stud-finder: our experienced plumbers may have a hunch about where the leak is thanks to the use of the snake tool, but this listening equipment helps us zero in before we cut drywall.

#4. Dealing with outside leaks

We do deal with hidden water leaks inside the home, but outdoor water leaks are just as common. That’s because drip systems and your sewer line typically run under a yard. While protected from some elements by being buried, other disturbances—minor seismic activity, tree roots, clogs inside of the pipe—can lead to leaks.

These outdoor hidden water leaks can be just as hard, if not more difficult, to find. Luckily, that’s where we come in. Our plumbers have tools for measuring ground moisture in different parts of your yard. We’ll find the source of the ground water leak before moving to advise you on how to address the issue.

Call Air Control for professional plumbing services in Lake Havasu City

Even the smallest of leaks can represent a big problem for your home or yard over time. Our recommendation? When you suspect there’s a leak, call in the professionals here at Air Control right away. Our plumbers are friendly and experienced, and we know how to find hidden water leaks, and get them fixed.

To schedule service, contact us today!

What is R-22 refrigerant, and what does the R-22 phase-out mean for me?

R-22 refrigerant, the chemical that makes cooling your home possible, has been the refrigerant of choice for residential heat pump and air conditioning systems for more than four decades. Unfortunately for the environment, the release of R-22 (often from air conditioning system leaks) contributes to ozone depletion.

Because of this harmful effect, the government has changed the refrigerant standards for residential air conditioners, leading to the phase-out and elimination of R-22 refrigerant by 2020.

This regulation also requires air conditioning manufacturers to cease the shipment of R-22 refrigerant with any newly produced air conditioning systems. In other words: R-22’s days are numbered.

What does this mean for my air conditioner?

So, what do you do if you are a homeowner with an R-22 system? Here’s the facts of the matter: there is no requirement to stop using your system, nor is there a requirement to replace your existing equipment. New air conditioners will use a new, more environmentally friendly refrigerant, but your existing system is, in a word, “grandfathered” in.

There is one scenario in which this switchover could impact you, however: a refrigerant leak.

Refrigerant leaks and R-22 scarcity

Since the switch is being made from R-22 refrigerant to a better solution, less R-22 is being made. As we rapidly approach the end of the decade and the start of this regulation, R-22 is being phased out, introducing scarcity. After 2020 arrives, no new R-22 is being made at all: the remainder will be from recycled or reclaimed sources.

As such, remaining supplies are increasing in cost in accordance with supply-and-demand. In all likelihood, you’ll still be able to get R-22 in the next decade, but it could cost you. A lot.

Can I change out my R-22 refrigerant for a different type in my existing system?

Technically yes, but this is highly discouraged by manufacturers because it could damage your system. As such, using a different refrigerant in place of R-22 will void your manufacturer’s warranty.

There are alternative replacement refrigerants (drop-ins) available, but there is an ongoing concern about the compatibility and the impact to system reliability. Because of this, most HVAC technicians you talk to will want an R-22 system to continue using R-22.

What are my other options?

Another option is to replace the entire system with one that uses the more environmentally-friendly R410A. New systems are by far more energy-efficient and can significantly save on energy costs and sound pollution.

Because R410A is a completely different refrigerant, it cannot be mixed or used in an existing air conditioning system designed for R22. When a new R410A unit is installed, both the outdoor unit and indoor coil must be replaced.

The indoor air handler/furnace may not need to be replaced, but sometimes it is more cost-effective or necessary to replace both the indoor coil and air handler/furnace.

Get a personalized R-22 refrigerant recommendation

At Air Control, we always make recommendations for homeowners based on their specific situation. Every home, homeowner, and their family’s needs are very different.

That’s why we recommend you contact us with your R-22 questions so that we can give you a more detailed explanation and personalized advice.