How to Locate Water Leaks in Your Home
Water leaks are more than just a nuisance. Undetected leaks — or those that are simply ignored — can eventually lead to costly repair and further water damage due to rot, mold growth from extra moisture, and other extensive damage. Finding and fixing a water leak early on & before it gets out of hand can save you money and avert potential disaster.
The first sign of a hidden leak can be a higher than normal water bill. Once you’ve ruled out that the cause isn’t due to extra water use by house guests or from watering your lawn and garden during the warm-weather months, an undetected leak is the likely culprit.
Did you know that fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills?
There are a few different ways to check for hidden water leaks. The first tool is your water meter.
In addition to telling the utility company how much water you’ve used, your home’s water meter can also be used to your advantage to find hidden water leaks.
Follow these simple steps to uncover your water leak:
- Stop using all water inside and outside the house. This includes all the indoor faucets, outdoor faucets, water-using appliances, ice makers, and automatic backflow cleaning in whole-house water filters. Don’t flush the toilet during the test.
- Locate your water meter. If your meter has a water flow indicator, watch the indicator for movement. This is a small rotating wheel on the meter that can detect even small amounts of water flow. If it moves when you know no one’s using any water, then there’s a leak somewhere in your house.
- If you don’t have a water flow indicator, record the numbers that appear on the meter. Wait a few hours (remember not to use any water during this time).
- Check the meter. If the meter reading goes up, it’s an indication of a hidden water leak.
Now that you know you have a leak, the next step is pinpointing its exact location. The following are the most common places for a home water leak to occur.