Water Leaks

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Detecting Leaks

Leaks in your home waste water and cause high bills. 60 drops per minute equates to 192 gallons each month - almost 5 loads of laundry! 

Here are some tips when looking for leaks: 

Checking for Faucet Leaks

  1. Turn off the faucet completely and place a glass under the faucet.
  2. Check glass in 15 min., 1 cup = 300 gallons a month.
  3. Check faucet for aerators by placing a finger against water spout.
  4. If you feel a screen, unscrew the aerator for cleaning or replacing.

Checking for Toilet Leaks

The most common cause for a high water bill is running water from your toilet. A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day. That can double a family's typical water use, so fix toilet leaks as soon as possible.

  1. Listen to the toilet tanks for a small hissing sound. That could indicate the flapper valve is passing water.
  2. Perform the Dye test, place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. 
  3. After ten minutes, check the water in the bowl for color. If you see color in the bowl, you have a leak. 

Checking for Landscape Leaks

  1. Check for leaks around the hose and sprinkler connection.
  2. Look for standing water on the surface near irrigation system spray heads.
  3. If you see areas of the lawn that are brighter green than others, you may have a leak.

 Some common causes of high water bills include:

  • A leaking toilet, or a toilet that continues to run after being flushed (see additional information below
  • A dripping faucet; a faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more
  • Filling or topping off a swimming pool
  • Watering the lawn, new grass, or trees; also check for an open hose bib
  • Kids home for summer vacations or school holidays; guests
  • Water-cooled air conditioners
  • A broken water pipe or obvious leak; check the pipes in the basement or crawlspace; the water heater could also be leaking
  • Running the water to avoid freezing water pipes during cold weather

Generally, water consumption is higher during the summer due to watering of lawns, pools, and gardening. Typically, an average family of four uses 6,000-8,000 gallons of water a month. Here are a few things to check if you get a bill that's higher than usual.

Changes in your water use

Did you have house guests, water your lawn more than usual, or do anything else out of the ordinary in the last month that uses a lot of water? If so, this may account for an increase in your water bill.

Outdoor and underground leaks

Leaks can also occur in harder to find places, such as under your house or in the service line between your water meter and your home. Check outdoor spigots and crawl spaces, and look for wet spots in your yard, which may indicate a leak.

How to fix a leak?

Follow these tips from the Environmental Protection Agency on how to fix a leak:

EPA - Fixing Leaks