Did you know that ten percent of homes have water leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more every day? That’s a lot of money flowing down the drain! So how do you know if you have a water leak?
The answer is as simple as keeping an eye on your water meter. Choose a time when no water will be used for a period of at least two hours and take note of the reading before and after. If the meter moves, you probably have a water leak.
Checking for indoor water leaks
Most indoor water leaks are caused worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and shower heads, and other leaky valves, which are typically a simple fix. Here’s what to look for:
To determine whether your toilet is leaking, add a few drops of food colouring to your toilet tank. Wait for 10 minutes. If any colour ends up in the bowl, you have a leak.
Most toilet leaks are caused by a worn-out flapper, or rubber valve seal. These can easily be replaced by a licensed plumber.
A dripping tap may not seem like a big deal. But a faucet that drips at the rate of one drop per second can waste enough water over the course of a year to take 180 showers.
Most faucet leaks are due to worn faucet washers and gaskets. It’s a simple repair that can make a big difference in your water bill.
Another big water-waster is the dripping showerhead. Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by using pipe tape to tighten the connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem. If that doesn’t do the trick, you may have a valve leak, and should call in a professional plumber.
Checking for outdoor water leaks
Outdoor water leaks can be difficult to spot. But if you notice unexplained soggy areas in your garden, or a sudden increase in your water bill, and can’t find any leaks inside your home, you may have water leaking from a broken pipe or fitting somewhere underground.
Here’s how to check for outdoor leaks:
- Leaving your main water shutoff valve open, turn off every indoor faucet, fixture, and appliance that uses water – and don’t forget the ice maker in your fridge.
- Check your water meter and take a reading.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes.
- If your meter has changed, you have a leak.
It can be tricky to pinpoint the exact location and cause of an underground leak. It’s best to call in a licensed plumber who can identify the problem and offer the best solution.
If you think you may have a water leak indoors or underground, contact the experts at Oxford Plumbing.