Finding Plumbing Issues Early

Finding the Source of a Water Leak in Your Home

by Chris Bowman

Finding out where a leak is located is half the battle in having it repaired. Here is how to check your meter to see if there is a leakage problem along with some spots to check for leaking, saving you time for a plumber to do the work. This in turn saves you money on the labor charge for having a professional find the leak.

Testing Your Meter

The first step you should do when you suspect a water leak, is to check to see if your meter continues to run when you are not using any water at all. Locate the meter in front of your home and write down the numbers on the face of the meter. Do not use any water for an hour. Go back to the box and see if the number has increased. If so, there is a leak somewhere in your home. 

The next step is to turn off the valves to all the toilets within your home so no water is running to them. Repeat the meter test by checking the numbers after an hour without using any water within your home during this time. If the numbers do not increase, there may be a leak in one of your toilet tanks. If the numbers do increase, there may be a leak in another area of the home.

Fixing a Toilet Tank

Check the tank that houses the water in each toilet in your home. Place a few drops of food coloring in each tank and wait for several minutes. Lift the toilet lid and look at the water within the bowl. If it has turned color, you will need to make a repair to the flapper portion of the flushing mechanism in the toilet tank. This rubber piece seals the hole that leads to your tank so it refills only when you flush. A new flapper is a relatively easy fix and can be bought in any hardware or home goods store.

Checking Other Areas

Take a look at your water heater to see if the pressure release valve is leaking. If you cannot get to this valve because it is enclosed in a drain pipe, a hissing sound may signify a leak inside. Call a plumber like Emergency Response Plumbing & Drain to ask them to take a look at this area. Check all faucets to see if one has a continuous drip that needs servicing. Evaluate the line between your meter and the house to see if there is apparent leaking on your property. This can be discovered by looking for spots that look muddy or spots that have greener grass than the rest of your lawn. Take a look at all faucets coming out of your home for leakage as well.