Possible Leak Checklist
If you are concerned that you might have a leak there are a few thing to check:
To check for a leak, turn all the water off in you home, then check your meter (near your hot water heater, usually in the basement or crawl space) and see if the meter is running. If it is you may have a leak. There is a small dial (looks like a snowflake) on he face of your transponder, if that is moving you may have a leak.
- House humidifier - if you have a humidifier on your heater, it could be leaking. If the drain hose to your humidifier goes straight to your floor drain, you could have a leak and not know it. The solenoid in the humidifier may have gone bad, causing a leak. If you turn the humidifier off and disconnect it from the heater, and your meter stops running then our humidifier is likely leaking.
- Sprinkler systems can leak at the solenoid, the sprinkler heads, the drip line or the actual sprinkler line. Even if you have the system turned off at the control box, as long as the valve is open allowing water to the system a leak will flow. To see if the sprinkler system is leaking, make sure there is no water turned on at your home. If the meter is running you can shut off the sprinkler main valve in the basement and if the meter stops that confirms it is the sprinkler line. To find the leak you will need to check the solenoid at the irrigation valve pit, the heads and the drip system. You may find a soggy or mushy area in your yard which would indicate excess water.
- Leaking toilet - if the flapper inside your tank fails to seal, you could develop a small leak that will develop into a larger leak. The District provides leak detection tabs that we will send out to you, or you could simply put food coloring into the back of your tank. Once you have put the tablet, or food coloring in, wait 15 minutes or so before flushing your toilet. If you notice that the colored water from the back of the tank is in the bowl of the toilet, you have a leak. Usually, changing out the flapper or its' equivalent, will solve your problem.
- Hot water tanks - can corrode on the bottom and drip. Since most hot water heaters sit near or on top of a drain, this can be hard to see. You may need to check under the heater with a flashlight.
- Copper piping in your home- can over time, "pit" leaving pin prick holes in the piping. You would see water pooling in a spot that you would not expect. It could be under a base cabinet in your bathroom in a wall, or anywhere pipes are. This is probably something a plumber would need to detect as they would need to change out the piping anyway. This is prevalent in homes with hot water loops.
- Faucets, dishwasher hoses, outside hose bibs, ice maker hoses, washing machine hoses - all of these could leak. In this dry climate, rubber hoses tend to dry out and need to be replaced every few years or so. You can inspect these by bending a piece of the hose and see if it is still pliable. If not, you should replace it. Water pressure in your house should be between 60 - 65 psi.
- Outside hose bibs - unfortunately some people think it is fun to turn on some unsuspecting neighbors' hose and leave it to run for a few hours, etc. An outside hose running at full steam can use about 600 gallons per hour. It is possible to go to a home supply store and get a hose bib lock for under $20.
- If you have a large bill and do not have a leak you may want to verify how much water your sprinklers use per cycle. Most of us do not know how much water we use when we water our lawns. To determine the amount, take note of the meter read prior to the sprinklers running and then again when they are done running and subtract the two.This will tell you exactly how much water you use each time your water your yard. You may be overwatering and not realize it.