In DIY, Pipe Leaks, Plumbing, Water Leaks

Water leaks cost you money and often waste 10,000 gallons of water per year. Contrary to belief, not all leaks are very hard to find and repair, but they are important to locate quickly before they become costly and difficult to fix.  Watersense is the EPA’s answer to advocating citizen action in water conservation.  It’s chocked full of helpful tips and information.

The EPA has designated “Fix a Leak Week”, March 15-21 so here’s how to check for water leaks around your home

Visual Method:

One of the easiest ways to find a leak fast is to see it or feel it. Take time to walk around your home, both the inside and outside, look for plumbing connections or fixtures that are dripping or are moist. Be sure to look at all your water connections and irrigation systems, your pool fill and notice the ground make sure it looks dry too. Inspect your water heater and water treatment systems for moisture or dripping issues. Don’t forget places like behind the refrigerator, the washing machine connections, under all the sinks and toilets.

Listening Method:

You probably notice it most when it is quiet and you’re trying to go to sleep…that is when a dripping faucet or running toilet will be heard the best. Walk around inside and outside when your home is quiet. Listen closely for dripping or running water. If you have trouble here are some helpful hints at DIY.

Water Meter Method:

After listening and looking hidden leaks are best noticed by simply reading your water meter.

To do this, turn off everything around your home using water, like your water using appliances (ice maker), faucets and irrigation system. Make sure no one flushes a toilet and turn off the automatic pool fill too.

    1. Go to your water meter and watch it for about 1-2 minutes. If nothing is using water around your home, it should not be running at all. Most meters will have a dial, this type should not be spinning or if it is a digital meter, nothing should be flashing.You may be lucky and actually have a leak indicator on your meter like these shown in the photos.
    2. If it is not moving or flashing, you are fine.
    3. If the water meter is moving or flashing, you have a water leak someplace or something is still using water around your home.

  1. Re-Check again around the home to be sure there is nothing using water, even a very small usage of water will make your meter run. 
  2. Re-check your meter again. If it is still moving, look for a leak or call a plumber.  

What is leaking? 

If you can’t find anything using water, but the meter is still running, it will take more work to find the leak. Check your irrigation system. Be sure no valves are leaking, irrigation heads or underground pipes are leaking anywhere.

Check your toilets. Toilet flappers can wear out for many reasons, water quality is the main cause and the smallest leak can waste thousands of gallons of water a year. We discussed in another article, Tampons vs. Toilets how to use food coloring to test for a toilet leak.

If you still can’t find anything, but your water meter is running, the problem may be behind a wall or floor. This may need a professional to come and help.

To save money on your water and sewage bill usage every month, SRP has posted many Water Savings tips. It is important to inspect all your plumbing and water treatment systems annually.  Benjamin Franklin Plumbing offers free inspections throughout the greater Phoenix metro area. Make your online appointment today. With 26 years of experience in finding water leaks, we help you avoid the hassles of water damage.

 

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