How Do I Check for Leaks?

How to Check for Leaks

Water leaks can be very expensive, and hard to detect.
Follow these simple steps
to check for a leak:

1. Turn off everything that uses water including the dishwasher, washing machine, showers, sinks, and sprinkler systems. If toilets were flushed, make sure they are done filling up.
2. Locate your water meter. It is probably in your basement. If you don't have a basement, it could be in a closet, under the house in a crawlspace, or in a meter pit in your yard.
3. Find the place that indicates leaks on your meter. On your Sensus meter (see picture below), there will be a row of numbers that indicate low flow. If the numbers are moving, and everything is off that uses water, you might have a leak.

Low Flow Indicator

4. If you can shut off the valve beside your meter, shut if off to verify that the numbers stop. If the numbers move when you turn it back on, you have a leak. Be sure to watch the meter for a few minutes to see if the numbers are moving. If the numbers are moving when you turn it back on, you have a leak. Be sure to watch the meter for a few minutes. Toilets fill intermittently and do not use water constantly when they are leaking.
5. If you are sure you have a leak, look for it and fix it, or call a plumber.

Follow these steps to determine
if one of your toilets is leaking:

  1. Put some food coloring in the tank of your toilet and wait. It could take just a few minutes, or up to two hours. If the food coloring leaks down to the bowl, it's time to replace the flapper. 
  2. If you don't want to use food coloring in your toilet, turn the shut off valve behind the toilet to the 'off' position.
  3. After about an hour, turn the valve behind the toilet to the 'on' position. If you hear water re-filling the tank, your toilet's flapper needs to be replaced.
  4. If the toilets are not leaking, and you need help finding the leak, contact a plumber or call our office at (814) 849-5320.