Leaking toilets, faucets, showerheads, and other plumbing can waste a lot of water. In fact, a household with a leak wastes an average of 10,000 gallons of water each year. Detecting and repairing leaks is often easy and can save homeowners up to 10 percent on their water bills.
In general, your senses are your best tool. Listen for water running continuously, smell for foul odors coming from a water source, and look for puddling water near your plumbing. If you think a leak exists, shut off all water-using appliances, faucets, showers, and outdoor tools such as hoses or sprinklers. Next, check if your low flow indicator on your water meter has stopped moving. If the indicator is still moving, there is probably a leak somewhere. In rare cases, a water meter itself may be the problem. For tough leaks, contact a registered plumber to make the repairs. If attempting repairs on your own, remember to turn off the correct water valve before you start. Here are some more easy tips you can follow to detect household leaks:
If you suspect a toilet leak, check the flapper valve, overflow pipe, and float, which are all located inside the toilet tank. You can also identify a toilet leak by putting a drop of food coloring in the tank. If color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, a leak is highly likely. To fix a toilet leak, consult a licensed plumber, hardware store, or home improvement retailer.
Make sure all faucets are shut tight when not in use, and be sure to check under the sink as well. If water appears to be leaking from a faucet, you may need to remove and replace worn or damaged washers or other parts. Before replacing these parts, be sure that the replacements are properly sized. This can be done by taking the broken part with you to a hardware store.
Showerheads that leak at just 10 drops per minute waste up to 500 gallons per year. For simple leaks, make sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and pipe stem. Pipe tape made of Teflon found at most hardware stores is easy to apply and can often help control leaks. It’s also a good idea to check the washer or other parts inside the showerhead for damage. More complicated leaks should be passed along to a licensed plumber for repairs.
Soggy spots in your lawn indicate a leak with a sprinkler or service line. In the case of a private service line leak, contact us to request a shut at the curb so that your registered plumber can make the necessary repairs.