A faucet leaking 60 drops a minute (not unusual) will waste 2,299 gallons of water every year. Homeowners should repair leaky faucets at once. Don’t forget, you pay twice — once for the water going through the meter and then again on your wastewater bill, which is based on water usage.
If you suspect there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing, try these easy steps to locate it.
Observe your meter:
- Read the water meter, noting the position of the clock-style hand that records individual gallons.
- Wait at least 15 minutes without using water.
- Look at the meter again to see if the hand moved. If it did not, there are probably no leaks. Waiting longer between meter readings (overnight, for instance) might help you detect slow or intermittent leaks.
- If the meter hand moved, check all of your faucets for visible leaks.
To check the toilets for leaks:
- Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the tank.
- Do not flush.
- Wait a minimum of one hour to see if the colored water appears in the toilet bowl. If it does, there is a leak.
- Repairing the leak is normally inexpensive and easy to do. Replacement part kits are available at most hardware stores.
If there appears to be no leaks inside your home, check for underground leaks:
- Turn off water at the house cut off.
- Open faucet to verify that the valve is working, the water flow should stop completely.
- Go outside to the meter—if meter is still running, there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing between the meter and the house.