Checking for leaks and how to do it

Checking for leaks around the house may seem like it isn’t the most important thing to worry about, it may not be a task you would complete every other day or even every other month, however, it is definitely a task that is actually very important. A leaky trap dripping at only twice per minute will lead to a wastage of water at over three and a half litres per week this obviously will rack up the cost of your water bill, that is a huge amount of water just being wasted for absolutely no reason.

How to do it?

The easiest way to check your house overall for leaks is to use your water meter and it is quite easy to do, firstly you obviously need to know where your water meter is this may seem like a silly thing to say but sometimes they are not just out the front of your house. If you are unsure of where your meter is you can call your billing department for your water company and find out from them.

Once you have located your water meter go around your house and make sure that you are not using any water what-so-ever, check all your taps and all other devices that are connected to the plumbing. Check the leak indicator on your water meter and make sure that no leaks are being detected.  The leak indicator could be a small triangular shaped dial or a small silver wheel that rotates when water is flowing through the meter. If the dial is moving, chances are, you have a leak. The other option is you can take down the water usage number and wait a couple of hours without using any water throughout the house and record the number again if it’s gone up you have a leak.

Locating the Leak

After you have determined that you have a leak, the next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside of your house.

  • Locate your home’s main shut off valve and shut off the water at the valve. Typically, you will find the shut-off valve in the basement or garage directly behind an outdoor tap, or outside below an outdoor tap.
  • Again, check the leak indicator for movement or use the meter reading method, making sure not to use any water during this period. If the leak indicator stops moving or there is no change in the meter readings, then you have a leak inside of the house. If the leak indicator continues to move or there is a change in the meter readings, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.
  • If you are unable to locate the leak, you may need to call a plumber.

What can you do about it?

So you have a leak, it may be inside or it may be outside. There is a large variety of different things that could be causing it ranging from leaking taps to leaking toilets. A lot of the things are easily fixed but you may need to do some further googling to figure out some of the problems. If your leak is large enough I would definitely consider getting a plumber in and not waste your time and money on something they can fix for you quickly and cheaply, sure it will cost at the time but it will be cheaper in the long run.


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