Water leaks inside your home can not only cause a great deal of damage to your home and property, but it can also waste a large amount of water. Water is a precious resource in this country – far too precious to waste through leaky plumbing.
Determining if a Leak Exists
The first step in finding the leaks in your home is to identify if there actually is a leak. The simplest solution is to turn off all the water in your home and check the meter. Make sure no one uses water for fifteen minutes and check the meter again. If the number has changed, then a leak is likely. How much the number has changed will determine the severity of the leak.
Of course this test will only help to determine larger leaks. Small leaks, such as drippy faucets, will not generally show up in a quick 15-minute test. That being said, those are not inconsequential leaks. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, one single faucet in your home that leaks five drips per minute wastes 173 gallons of water over the course of a year. If the number of drips per minute increases to 20 (that’s one drip every three seconds), the number of gallons wasted per year increases to 694.
Common Leak Culprits in the Home
These are some of the most common sources of household leaks and simple ways to identify them.
Toilet Leaks – these leaks are typically hidden and a little more difficult to discern. The easiest test for this is the food coloring test. Add a few drops of food coloring to the tank of your toilet. Wait 15 or so minutes then check the bowl. If the water in the bowl is colored, you have a leak in your flapper.
Leaks in Faucets, Showers, and Tubs – These leaks are very common. These leaks are often easy to detect by sight and/or by sound.
Swimming Pool Leaks – because pools hold so much water they can be a massive source of water waste if ever a leak is sprung – leading to a huge water bill in addition. The bucket test is the simplest method for checking to see if your pool is leaking. Fill a bucket with water and place a piece of tape along the water line inside and outside the bucket. Then place the bucket on the top stop of your pool. Wait 24 hours then mark the new water line inside and outside the bucket. If the water level outside the bucket has dropped more than the water level inside the bucket, you most likely have a leak in your pool.
If you find leaks in your home, it is generally best to call a plumber unless you are confident in your abilities to repair them. Our strong recommendation is to contact us for a plumbing inspection. We’ll check out your plumbing and provide you with peace of mind that you are not wasting water or causing any water damage to your home.