Stop that Leak!

Leaks are losers--of both water and money. You may have a leak inside or outside your home or business without even knowing it. A small leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month. Check toilets, pipes, hoses, faucets, and connections--both indoors and outdoors--at least once a year. Here are tips to help you determine if you have a leak.

Check to see if you have a leak

  • Find your water meter. It's usually located wherever the water line enters your property.
  • Turn off all of the water inside and outside.
  • Look for the red needle on the meter and note where it's pointed. (If you don't see a red needle, you probably have a different type of meter. Contact your local water provider for assistance.)
  • Wait 10 minutes or more and look at the red needle again.
  • If it has moved and you can't account for the difference by a humidifier, toilet flush, ice-cube maker, or other use, you probably have a leak.

Find the leak

The most common source of leaks is the toilet, so check here first for the leak by following these easy steps:

  • Drop some food coloring or dye tablets in the toilet tank.
  • Don't flush for 15 minutes.
  • If you see color in the bowl, you probably have a leak, which will require further investigation.

Most toilet leaks are either at the overflow pipe or the flapper valve. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can probably handle the job. Otherwise, call a plumber.