How to spot tiny leaks and flush debris out of pipes
When the job is done and you’re ready to pack up your tools, take the time to do a final check for tiny leaks and sediment lingering in the lines. There’s no 100 percent prevention for either problem, but if you take a few precautions, you can reach 99 percent certainty. And that’s about as good as life gets.
Don’t Get Fooled by Condensation
In high humidity, a cold water line will sweat, making it almost impossible to detect tiny leaks. Here’s how to work around that: Run the water just enough to fill the line. Then take a coffee break while the water in the pipe warms to room temperature. When it’s warm enough, wipe the pipe dry and look for leaks. Condensation may also be caused by cold water in drain lines.
Stress-Test Drain Lines
To test drain lines under a sink, don’t just turn on the faucet. Instead, completely fill the sink. (Fill both bowls on a double sink.) Then open the drain to release a gush of water. In humid conditions, fill the sink with lukewarm water. Cold water will cause condensation on the lines and prevent you from finding leaks.