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How to Find & Repair Leaks

Locate & Repair

  • Locating a water leak is a process of elimination. Leaks are easier to detect if you have a water meter.
    1. Turn off all domestic (indoor) use water.
    2. Check flow indicator on water meter.
      • If flow indicator is not showing water flow, the system has integrity with no water leaks.
      • If flow indicator is showing movement, system has a leak. Continue to step #4
    3. Turn off main irrigation valve.
      • If flow indicator is not showing usage, water usage was in irrigation system.
      • If flow indicator is showing usage, then usage may be on domestic side of service.
    4. Turn off domestic water supply to the home (located outside next to home.
      • If flow indicator stops, usage is on the domestic side of the service. Continue to step #5.
      • If indicator still shows usage, leakage is in the area between the water meter, irrigation main shutoff valve, and the house shutoff valve.
    5. Turn on domestic water supply at the home. Check the following locations for water usage.
      • Toilets (flapper valves, float arm adjustments, and inlet float valve assembly). To check flapper valves use the following methods:
        (1) Place food coloring in tank and wait approximately 20 minutes. If colored water appears in the bowl, the flapper is leaking.
        (2) Turn off the water supply valve for twenty minutes, then turn back on. If tank has lost water and water starts to run, water is leaking by the flapper valve.
      • Check inside and outside faucets for leaks.
      • Check water-using appliances for leaks; i.e., water heaters, washing machine, ice maker and disposal.
    6. After leaks have been repaired, check all valves for correct “on” positions.

Now What?

If you are not able to find the leak, you should call a leak detection company or a professional plumber to locate and fix the leak(s). Check your local yellow pages. If you find a simple leak like your toilet flapper or kitchen faucet, you may want to fix the problem yourself.