Have you discovered your water bills rising with no reasonable explanation? While you can expect some fluctuation with this bills throughout the year, your utilities should never skyrocket. If they do, it’s time to take a close look at what’s going on.
Even the smallest of plumbing leaks can significantly add to your water usage. In fact, according to the US EPA’s WaterSense site, a faucet leaking at just one drop per second wastes up to 3,000 gallons of water per year! Small, dripping leaks aren’t exclusive to faucets, either. They can exist anywhere in your water line, from the pipes underneath your sinks to the ones behind walls.
So, let’s say you suspect you have a leak—is there a way to detect it on your own? The best way to find a leak is to call our professional plumbers for water leak detection services, however, you may also be able to find out if you have a water leak by detecting changes in your water meter. Keep reading to learn more.
Shut Off Your Water
Before you go check your water meter, turn off all the water throughout your household. We don’t mean using the main shut-off valve, since this won’t help find a leak coming from an inside pipe. What we mean is shut off anything that uses water—your faucets, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.
Be sure to let your family know that you’re doing this so that they don’t use the faucet or the toilets in the meantime. Or, you could always choose a time when nobody else is home. Ensure that every fixture or appliance is off—this should include systems that might run automatically (like your sprinklers). Don’t forget about any water filters that run automatic backflow cleaning, or the refrigerator’s icemaker.
Reading Your Water Meter
Now it’s time to take a look at your water meter. See if there is a flow indicator. This is a small, rotating dial that will move even if there is only a tiny amount of water flowing. If all your water is off and the wheel is moving, then you have a leak.
However, keep in mind that this won’t tell you how much water is leaking. If you want to find out whether it’s an excessive amount (or if your water meter doesn’t have a flow indicator), then you’ll have to wait a while. Write down the number you read on the dial or use a permanent marker to track it. Check it again after an hour.
The difference is read in gallons or in cubic feet. Convert cubic feet to gallons by multiplying the number by 7.48—this is how much your plumbing system is leaking per hour.
Check This Next, If You Do Have a Leak
Now it’s time to figure out where your leak is coming from. This isn’t always easy, and many times you’ll need to end up calling in a pro. You can check for some obvious signs, such as moisture throughout the home, including behind walls and along baseboards. You might even want to access your crawlspaces to look for moisture, and take a look around your yard for patches of moisture or greener areas of grass (this could be a sign of a sewer line leak).
If you discover that you do have a sewer line leak—or worse, a slab leak—then locating the exact spot the leak is occurring and repairing it requires specific tools and experience that you can only get from a professionally trained plumber.
Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. today for guaranteed satisfaction and accurate leak detection service in Teaneck & Bergin County, NJ.