How To Find And Stop Leaks
A dripping faucet or other small leak in your water system may not seem like big problem. But those drops quickly start adding up – and can waste up to 60,000 gallons of water a year if left unchecked. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day – the equivalent of 50 extra flushes per day.
To find out if your system has any leaks – even ones you can’t see – follow these steps:
- Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances, such as the dish and clothes washers.
- Locate your water meter. If your water meter is inside your house, you’ll usually find it in your basement, crawl space or utility room. If it’s outside, look for a covered “pit” in front of your house, set flush to the ground.
- Lift the cover off the meter dial. On most meters you’ll see a red “telltale” indicator. If it’s moving when all the water is turned off, you probably have a leak.
If your meter doesn’t have a telltale, simply compare two readings of your meter over 30-60 minutes of time:
- Reading your meter is like reading the odometer of a car. Read the numbers from left to right that appear under or over the words "Cubic Feet" or “Gallons”:
- The first number on the right represents one cubic foot or gallon.
- The second number from the right represents 10 cubic feet, or 10 gallons. The third from the number (usually a different color) represents 100 cubic feet (or one "CCF"), or 1,000 gallons (one “kgal”).
- One revolution of the meter sweep-hand (the arm that goes around in a circle) equals one cubic foot or 7.48 gallons.
- Read and write down the entire reading (all numbers)
- Wait 30-60 minutes, without using any water. Check the reading again. If the reading has changed, you probably have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.