The unfortunate truth is that unless you have x-ray vision like Superman, no amount of staring at the wall is going to help you see whether or not your plumbing pipes are broken. Fortunately, you can use your ears, your eyes, your nose, and a little bit of logic as a substitute for your lack of x-ray vision to determine whether or not those pipes are broken.
Use Your Ears
Now, your pipes are not going to start talking to you. They will, however, make noises that they only make when something is wrong. If you use your ears and listen for these specific sounds, you will be able to tell when your pipes are broken without needing to be able to see through the walls.
A Bubbling Noise: If you turn the sink on or flush the toilet and air is not able to find its way out of your sewer lines, it will start to bubble as it mixes with the wastewater. The reason this happens is because a pipe in your plumbing – usually one connected to your sewage system – is broken.
A Whistling Noise: Over time, it is not uncommon for pipes to become dented and lose their original shape. When this happens, it's more difficult for the pipe to pass the volume of water it was originally intended to support. It will sound as if your pipes are whistling as they struggle to accommodate the water with the lack of room. If you hear a whistling sound, you need to have your pipes inspected by a plumber as soon as possible. If the pressure from the water becomes too much for the pipes to handle, they could burst.
Use Your Nose and Eyes
Puddles of Water: A puddle of water means you either have someone in your home who likes dumping water on the floor or you have a plumbing leak. A plumbing leak, unfortunately, means your pipes are cracked, broken, or otherwise worn out.
Smelly or Discolored Water: Your water is supposed to be clear, and it certainly shouldn't smell bad. A bad smell could be because the sewage (wastewater) is not being transported to your municipal sewer lines, or it could be because there is sulfur or some other contaminate is lingering in the water. When water becomes discolored, on the other hand, it could be because of a contaminate, or it could be because of rust. Either way, the pipes need to be inspected by a plumber.
If you experience persistent problems such as a clogged drain or a slow-flushing toilet, these are signs something is wrong with your plumbing. It could be a broken pipe, a crack, or a blockage. Technically, a blockage does not mean the pipe is broken yet – but the pipe will definitely break if the blockage isn't removed. A lack of water and poor water pressure also tend to be signs something is wrong with your plumbing pipes.
As you can see, x-ray vision would be nice to have, but you can tell if your plumbing pipes are broken without it. If you mix your nose, eyes, and ears with a little logic, you should know when you need a plumber. Once you discover that your pipes have a problem, schedule plumbing repair from a local company immediately.