• Keep an eye on your utility bills, noting increases in water usage so that you notice unusual changes.
• Watch for wet places in the lawn where underground pipes bring water to your home.
• Notice mildew, dampness, or other evidence of a leak in the interior of your home, especially near walls of rooms with plumbing fixtures.
• Insulating exposed water pipes will help protect them from freezing, which can cause pipes to burst, since water expands when it freezes, putting tremendous pressure on pipes. Pipes also may sweat when cold water passes through them in warmer interior airspaces in the home, and this water condensing on the surface of pipes may drip, causing moisture problems to appear where no leak exists.
• Insulating hot water pipes will reduce the energy used to furnish you with hot water at your sink or bath tub, especially in a situation where a long run of pipe is required to supply it.
Learn the location of your water supply shutoff, and also individual supply valves so that leaks can be temporarily stopped when they are discovered, and the system can be shut down to make repairs. Commodes, vanities, and kitchen sinks usually have a valve for each supply pipe, and these are normally located on the adjacent wall underneath the fixture.
• Be educated about the type of pipe used in your home. Older copper pipes were joined with lead solder, and the lead may leach out of the joints and expose you to lead poisoning when you drink the water.
• Read label instructions carefully if you use a chemical drain cleaning product for cleaning clogged or slow-draining pipes.
• When there is rusty pipes to repair make sure that you do not force them too much. It can make the problem worse.