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Utility Services

Finding a Water Leak
Example of a backflow prevention device
Backflow prevention device
Example of a shutoff valve
Shutoff valve
Example of a shutoff valve
Shutoff valve

 

If your water bill seems higher than normal for this time of year, or you have received a courtesy notice warning of high water use, you should check your system for a water leak. Follow this step by step process to help find your water leak.

1. Turn off all running water inside and outside your home.

2. Locate your water meter, which is usually found in the sidewalk in front of your property, and look for movement in the flow indicator.

You should see a small triangle, called a flow indicator, at the top of the meter. If this indicator is moving, you may have a water leak somewhere on your property. Follow the instructions in step 3 to determine where you may have a leak.

 

A water leak that goes undetected can cause extensive damage, and result in high water bills and substantial repair costs. A very small leak the size of a pencil point can allow up to 6,000 gallons of water per month to be lost. You are responsible for finding and repairing leaks on your property.

 

3. Find your water leak through a process of elimination.

Check your sprinkler system for a leak. Shut off the valves for your backflow prevention device that serves your irrigation system, which is usually found in your front yard. Now check your water meter. If the flow indicator has stopped moving, your irrigation system could be the cause of your leak. If the flow indicator is still moving, you may have a leak inside your home.

 

Check your main service line for a leak. The main service line provides all the water you use inside your home. Find your water shutoff valve, which is usually found in your front yard, in your garage or near your water softener. Shut off the valve, go inside your house and turn on a faucet to make sure the water is off. Now check your water meter. If the flow indicator is moving, the leak is between the shutoff valve and the water meter.

Check your toilets for a leak. Turn off one toilet at the valve located directly behind the toilet, then check the flow indicator on the water meter. If the flow indicator has stopped moving, that toilet has a leak. If you still see the flow indicator moving, that toilet is not the cause of the leak. Check each toilet in your home one-by-one.

Check your pool for a leak. Turn off your pool's automatic fill function. Place a bucket on a step in the pool, so that the rim is higher than the surrounding water level. Place a rock in the bucket to weigh it down, and fill it with water to the same height as the surrounding water. Leave the bucket and pool undisturbed for several days, then compare the water level in the bucket to the water level in the pool. If the water level in the bucket is noticeably higher than the water level in the pool, you may be losing pool water to a leak.

For more information on how to find a water leak, or to request a free DVD, contact the Customer Care Center at (702) 267-5900.