Detecting Leaks

General Leaks

Water leaks can be costly. Your water meter can tell you if you have a leak:

  1. Turn off all faucets (including outdoor spigots) and water using appliances.
  2. Locate your water meter and lift the cover to see the meter dial.
  3. Note the position of the sweep hand and or the numbers in the dial boxes.
  4. Wait 20 – 30 minutes and check the sweep hand position and numbers. If the sweep hand has moved, you may have a leak. If the numbers in the dial boxes have changed you may have a leak.
  5. Repeat the process. Double checking that all water is turned off inside and outside the home.
  6. If the sweep hand has again moved or the numbers in the dial boxes changed the possibility of a leak is high.

Most meters have a leak detector. The leak detector indicates when the slightest amount of water flows through the meter. If you have turned off all indoor and outdoor water, and the leak detector is moving, then it is quite possible a leak exists. The location of the leak will have to be determined and repairs made.

By detecting a leak in its early stages, an individual could save a substantial amount of money. Unfortunately, many leaks are not visible. Due to the sandy soil in our community leaks tend to soak into the ground instead of rising to the surface. When this occurs, the customer may have no clue a leak exists until the water bill is received. If you have a leak, you may qualify for a leak adjustment.

Looking for Leaks

  • Your toilet may have a leak. Learn how to Detect a Toilet Leak.
  • Check for moist spots around and under the house plumbing and around outdoor plumbing
  • Replace worn washers in faucets and showerheads. Even a small drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day (170 gallons = 23 c.f. = $.48 per day or $14.88 per month).

Detecting Toilet Leaks

Follow these simple steps to diagnose a leaky toilet:

  1. If you use an automatic bowl cleaning device, remove it.  Do not continue until all coloring from the automatic bowl cleaning device is gone.
  2. At least five minutes after the last flush cycle, carefully remove the toilet tank cover.
  3. Gently add 4 to 5 drops of blue, green, or red food coloring into the tank (not the bowl). DO NOT FLUSH. Test dye tablets are available at the office of North Beach Water District.
  4. Wait 10 to 15 minutes – no flushing during this time. If you find color in the bowl, there’s a leak.

 Common causes of toilet leaks include:

  • The flapper valve or valve seat has deteriorated
  • The flushing arm or lift chain is not working properly
  • The tank water level is too high and spills into the overflow
  • The float rod, ballcock, or float ball may be corroded

Leaks in toilets always get larger and more costly over time. The sooner repairs are made the more quickly you can start saving water – and money.

Once repairs are completed take a few minutes to re-test, to assure there are no more leaks.

Toilets are one of the largest consumers of household water. Old, high-volume toilets use as much as 6 gallons per flush, compared to new Ultra-Low Flush toilets which use only 1.6 gallons per flush. You could save as much as 10,000 gallons of water per year by replacing your high volume toilets with ULF models.