The sooner you know you have a water leak, the more money you can save. Not only can a water leak run up your water bill, it can cause property damage both inside and outside your home or business. Here’s how to spot the signs that you might have a problem!
Initial Signs of a Water Leak
- Unusually high monthly water bill
- An alert from your water company telling you they think you have a water leak
- Low water pressure or low volume in your home
- The sound of running water, when nothing is in use
- Unusual soft or wet areas in the yard, possible=y with standing water
- Water meter consumption changing when not using water
Assessing if the leak is inside or outside
Locate the main shut-off valve to your house. This can be in the garage, a closet, or outside the home. Turn off the valve. After turning off the valve, turn on a faucet inside the house to test if the shut off valve is working properly. If no water is coming out, it is working properly. If water still flows from the faucet after several minutes, the shut off valve is not working.
If you find that your shut-off valve is not working, turn off all water using appliances so that no water is being used accidentally while trying to locate the leak. Make sure to look inside and outside of your house for any appliances/fixtures that use water (toilets, showers, washing machines, fountains connected to a water supply, etc.).
Locate your water meter (if you don’t know which one is yours, call your water company and have them verify which one is yours and mark it with paint). Once you have found it, open the lid on top of your meter box, inside you will find your water meter. Sometimes the meter itself has a small lid on it, flip it open to see the water meter. On most water meters, there is a small triangle on the dial of the meter. Watch is for a period of a minute or so, is it moving?
If the triangle or dial hand is moving, water is still flowing between the meter and the shut-off valve (home). That means you have a leak between the meter and the home. At this point, we recomend to contact a professional to locate and repair the water leak for you. That’s where Clear Water Leak Detection comes in – please request an appointment and we’ll be happy to take it from here.
If it is not moving, then you may have a leak inside your home. Check toilets, washer machines, faucets, etc. for any type of leak. Most leaks inside the home are from toilets. You can check for the water leak by following these steps:
- If you have turned off your shut-off valve, turn it back on and have all other water using appliances shut off.
- Turn each toilet on one at a time and check the water meter.
- If after turning a toilet on, and you look at the meter and the triangle is moving, that tells you that particular toilet has a leak.
- Another way or to verify the method above, drop a few drops of food coloring in the tank (the back part where the tank of water is) of the toilet and wait a few minutes (for best results wait 15-20 minutes).
- Do not flush the toilet while performing this test!
- If after a few minutes you see that the food coloring has found its way into the toilet bowl, then there is a leak. When the toilet is working properly and it is not leaking, there will be no food coloring in the bowl.