Use your water meter to check for leaks
The best way too determine if you have a leak in your plumbing system, is by first checking your water meter.
If you do not know where your meter is located you can call the Billing Department to get your meter location.
Make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house.
- Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it is moving. Depending on the brand of your meter, the leak indicator could be a small triangular shaped dial or a small silver wheel that rotates when water is flowing through the meter. If the dial is moving, chances are, you have a leak.
- Or, you can also take a meter reading and wait 1 or 2 hours and take another meter reading (make sure no water is used during this time). If the reading has changed, you have a leak.
After you have determined that you have a leak, the next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside of your house.
- Locate your home's main shut off valve and shut off the water at the valve. Typically, you will find the shut off valve in the basement or garage directly behind an outdoor faucet, or outside below an outdoor faucet.
- Again, check the leak indicator for movement or use the meter reading method, making sure not to use any water during this period. If the leak indicator stops moving or there is no change in the meter readings, then you have a leak inside of the house. If the leak indicator continues to move or there is a change in the meter readings, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.
- If you are unable to locate the leak, you may need to call a plumber.
Leaking faucets are generally a result of a worn rubber washer. The washer on a sink is usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace, if you have the right tools. It does require shutting off the water under the sink or at the main shutoff valve and removing the handle.
(Note: faucet handles are not shutoff valves.) Check your local home center or hardware store on how to repair faucet leaks.
- Look (and feel) for portions of your property that are always wet.
- Look at your driveway, curb or street for evidence of water flow. The evidence may not be a steady stream of water; it may only be a puddle that never dries up, or a darker spot (as in what happens when water is spilt on dry concrete).
- Look at your water meter and write down the meter reading. Don't run any water for a few hours. Re-read your meter.
- If it shows use, and you've already fixed all other known leaks, then you may have an underground leak.