Leak Detection Checklist

Here's some of the most likely places to look for drips or moisture that indicates a plumbing leak:



  • Sink faucet and spray hose
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator ( including icemaker)

Bathrooms and lavatories

  • Toilets
  • Bathtub faucets
  • Showerheads
  • Skin faucets
  • Jacuzzis
  • Bidets

Laundry rooms, utility rooms and basements

  • Washing machine
  • Water softener
  • Humidifier
  • Hot water tank
  • Boiler
  • Utility sink
  • Pipes and shut-offs


  • Faucets
  • Garden hose and connections
  • Lawn sprinkler system
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub or spa
  • Ponds and fountains


  • Check toilets for leaks by dropping a little food coloring into the tank. Wait about 10 minutes without flushing. If color appears in the bowl, you have a leak and probably need to replace internal parts.
  • Check for moist spots around and under the house plumbing and around outdoor plumbing. You may need to call a plumber to repair those leaks, which, besides wasting water, can also damage floors, walls and ceilings.

Responsibility for Leaks

If a leak occurs on the property side of the meter, the property owner is responsible for the leak charges and repair costs. If you have checked for leaks and yet the dials are still turning, you may have a hidden leak in an underground pipe. Contact a reputable plumber for additional help and service. If you have purchased a water line protection plan such as Homeowner Safety Valve, contact the service provider for service. Learn more about Homeowner Safety Valve.

Preparing for the worst

If a water pipe broke in your home, could you quickly find the shut-off valve? Find out where it is before you have an emergency and show it to every family member. Here’s where to look for it:

  • In the basement or crawl space, where the water line enters the home. 
  • In the garage where the water line enters the wall or ceiling, near the water heater or laundry hookup. 
  • Outside near the foundation, often protected by a concrete ring or clay pipe.

Once you locate it, turn the valve gently to make sure it hasn’t frozen from lack of use. If it won’t turn, have a plumber replace it.