How to Check for Leaks - Your water meter can be a very useful tool in determining whether you have a water leak. Your meter is usually located in a black rectangular meter box located in the easement close to the street. When opening the lid to the meter box, be cautious. As sometimes it has become home to insects, spiders, frogs, and yes, even a snake. Once you have the meter box opened, it may be necessary to wipe off the face of the meter in order to see it clearly.
Your meter is equipped with a “low flow detector” that rotates in a clockwise direction when water is being used.
On meter “A”, the “low flow detector” is a black triangle, dead center above the read numbers.
On meter “B” the “low flow detector” is a small red knob located in the bottom right hand corner of the meter.
On meter “C”, the “low flow detector” is a red (sometimes black) triangle above the read numbers, just left of the large red hand.
The meter is designed to detect even the smallest amount of usage frequently associated with small leaks. To check for leaks, turn off all faucets and equipment that use water. Watch the “low flow detector” very closely. If there is any movement in the “low flow detector” and you are sure everything that uses water has been turned off, that is an indication that there is a leak. The speed at which the “low flow detector” moves indicates how large the leak is.
I have a leak, now what? - Now that you have found that there is a leak, the next step is finding the source of the leak and stopping it. Continuous leaks as small as 1/16th of an inch can cause water waste as much as 24,667 gallons in a month. A dripping faucet can waste 3 gallons a day or 1095 gallons a year. Finding and repairing a leak saves water and money.
Water leaks come in many sizes and varieties. Some water leaks require the expertise of a plumber and the resident can easily repair others. Some of the most common sources of water leaking are sprinkler systems, toilets and faucets.
Below are a few tips to try before calling a plumber:
Add a few drops of food coloring to the tank of the toilet. Wait a few minutes and then look for any color seeping into the bowl. If there is color, then the toilet is leaking.
While slowly walking the trench line between your meter and your home, be aware of any “squishy” areas.
Be aware of any areas of the yard that are unusually green.