Severe plumbing problems can be easily overlooked, especially if you don’t know how to identify plumbing issues. Some plumbing problems are easy to fix while others can lead to serious damage and major financial liability. To save time and money, our guide will outline the best ways to detect plumbing leaks.
The best way to check if you have a leak in your plumbing system is to check your water meter. If you do not know where your meter is located, you can call the billing department in your district to get your meter location.
- Make sure no water is on inside or outside of your house.
- Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it is moving. If the dial in the meter is moving, chances are, you have a leak.
- You can also take a meter reading and wait 1 or hours and take another meter reading. During this time, make sure no water is used. If the reading changes, you have a leak.
If you identify a leak in the house, the next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside the house. Once identified, locate your home’s main shut off for the water supply that’s causing the issue. This is usually located at the valve at the base of behind your commode. If you cannot locate this, just turn off the main water valve – typically located in the basement or outside your house. In larger emergencies such as flooding, you’ll want to turn off the main valve right away. To turn off the valve, most water valves will require you to turn the knob clockwise to shut off.
If you have a leaking faucet, the cause is likely due to worn rubber washer. The washer on a sink is usually located under the handle. This typically requires replacement, which will require shutting off the water under the sink or at the main valve and removing the handle.
Toilet leaks, even the smallest leaks, can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time. To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in back of the toilet tank. Wait about 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl. If the color is clear, water is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the blow, you have a leak.
In most cases, you will need to replace the toilet flapper or filling mechanism. If you aren’t familiar with how to, call your plumber for professional service.
Other Water Leaks
Some leaks can be very obvious while others are silent. Wastewater, for example, is usually moved by gravity and is not under pressure. This makes wastewater leaks much harder to detect. If you suspect a wastewater leak, call your Maintenance and Operations department for help.
Other ways to identify leaks include wet, warped or discoloration stains on your ceilings, floors, walls, and woodwork.
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