Steps to Find Where You're Losing Water - On the House

Steps to Find Where You’re Losing Water

By on March 5, 2014
water meter

Question

How can I find a leak in my house? My water bill keeps going up. Sometimes I can hear water dripping in the bathroom after the sink has been used but then it stops.

Colleen H.

Answer

If you are on a public water system, chances are you have a water meter somewhere on or near your property. In addition to telling you how much water you are using, it can help you detect leaks.Water meters look a little like a speedometer. Subtract the first reading from the second to find out how many cubic feet of water you have used. A cubic foot contains 7.5 gallons of water. For example: If the first reading is 006300 and the second reading – a week later – is 006400, then your use for one week was 100 cubic feet or 750 gallons (100 cubic feet x 7.5 gallons per cubic foot = 750 gallons), an average of slightly more than 107 gallons per day. In some communities all you need to do is read your water bill to discover this information.

To use your water meter to detect a hidden leak, turn off every plumbing fixture in your house for a couple of hours. And, don’t forget the built-in icemaker or the reverse-osmosis water filtration system. They turn themselves on automatically. Once everything is off, take a meter reading. If the reading changes, a leak exists.

If the leak is a plumbing pipe or fitting located in the attic or walls, chances are great that you would have seen water dripping from the ceiling or damp spots on the walls or floor. If, on the other hand, the pipes are in the crawl space or basement, it may require a bit of investigative work to find the leak.

It is also possible to have a leak between the water meter and the main shut off valve where water enters your home. To determine if the pipe between these two points is leaking, shut off the main water supply valve at the house and check to see if the meeting continues to show that water is being used. If such is the case, it’s time to call in a leak detection company. Using state-of-the-art technology, they will be able to pinpoint the leak for repair. They can also find an evasive leak in your home.

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