Leak detection is an important part of water conservation and economics as well. A faucet dripping once a second can leak thousands of gallons per year! In addition, leaking water costs the District money to treat and distribute, and costs the customer money as a result of larger water bills.
If you suspect that you may have a water leak, the first step is to contact our main office. We can assist you with reviewing your water bill history to determine if usage is unusually high compared to your historical readings. If it does appear high, we will set up an appointment to check your water meter for movement. You will need to be home at this time and make sure that all water-consuming appliances and fixtures are off. One of our technicians will check your meter for movement.
If movement is discovered, and all water devices are off, you’ve got a leak! Here are some tips for checking for leaks on various water devices:
The most common source of leaks in a house is from the toilet. Typically what happens is that the rubber seal inside the tank begins to fail, allowing water to drain from the tank and cause the tank to continuously use water. To check for a toilet leak,
Open the storage tank lid of the toilet and pour several drops of food coloring into the tank, enough to strongly color the water of the tank. Put the lid back on and do not use the toilet for 15-30 minutes.
Come back and open the toilet bowl lid – if you see colored water in the tank, you have a leak.
This type of leak can often be corrected by simply replacing the rubber seal on the tank.
Hot Water Heater:
Check around the fittings of your hot water heater for evidence of water.
Check the temperature of the hot water heater. Heaters that are set very high may cause the pressure relief valve to open on occasion, draining water from the system.
Sinks & Faucets:
A dripping sink can leak a significant amount of water. This can usually be fixed by replacing the hot and/or cold water stem or washer in the handle.
You can determine which side is leaking by turning off the supply to each side (if your sink has separate supply line valves).
Repair parts are widely available at do-it-yourself centers and are largely inexpensive.
Outside the Home:
Underground leaks can be the hardest to find. Water can leak from the service line leading from your house to the meter. Water leaks can also be present on underground plumbing lines for swimming pools, fountains, and sprinkler systems.
If you’ve ruled out leaks inside your house, check your yard for soggy spots or areas of standing water. In times of dry weather check for areas with unusually green grass.
Often times leaking service lines are cheapest to simply replace rather than attempting to track down leaks. In many types of soils leaks will rarely, if ever, come to the surface, yet a pinhole leak could result in the loss of thousands of gallons of water per month.
Above all, it is important to remember that most people dramatically underestimate the amount of water used by various activities. A ten minute shower, for example, can consume 50 gallons of water or more depending on your faucet. Car washing and lawn watering may increase your water bill by 50% or more depending on frequency. If you suspect that your water usage may be increasing due to water practices, click here to check our conservation tips.