How to Detect Water Pipes in Walls

Find the locations of water pipes behind walls before you undertake such tasks as drilling into the wall to hang items from it.
This saves you from the problem of damaging the pipes and causing a leak that could ultimately lead to costly repairs and a higher water bill. Although opening up the wall is a surefire way to locate the water pipes, that is extreme when you only want to hang a towel rack. Use other methods to detect the pipe locations.

Step 1

Look at the wall area surrounding any fixtures and fittings, such as a sink or bathtub, whose pipes run into the wall.

Step 2

Slide a stud finder that also detects metal along the wall area running vertically and horizontally away from where the fixture's pipes disappear through the wall.

Step 3

Identify any wet spots on the wall, to detect the location of a leaking water pipe.

Step 4

Go outside and locate pipes extending up through the roof. Back inside, look at the wall area directly beneath these pipes as the locations for drain pipes.

Things You Will Need

  • Stud finder

About the Author

Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.