purchase now to get your first three months of monitoring for free

Checklist for finding a water leak

by Andrew Bryden January 19, 2017

Checklist for finding a water leak

The Alert Labs Flowie water sensor that you installed on your water meter has sent you an alert about a possible leak. It could be caused by a leaky toilet or faucet, water softener, hot water heater, exterior hose, malfunctioning washing machine or many other things. So, what should you do next? According to the City of Guelph, it’s pretty straightforward and easy.

First, locate the ‘low flow indicator’ on the face of your water meter – the low flow indicator is usually a small red or black triangle or dial on the face of the meter. Ensure there is no water being used in the home by turning off all faucets and water using appliances. Then check if the indicator is turning, moving or shaking. If it is, this means that water is flowing the meter and there is a leak somewhere.

Toilets are by far the most common source of home water leakage. First, remove the lid from the toilet tank. Look and listen for obvious leakage (e.g. water running into overflow, or out of the bottom of the tank). If noise is detected but no visible water moving, chances are that water is leaking through the flapper (located at the bottom of the tank, activated when flushing).

Dye test

Use the “dye test” to check for toilet flapper leakage. Carefully remove the toilet tank cover. Drop a leak detector tablet or a few drops of coloured food dye into the tank. Wait a few minutes and then check the water in the toilet bowl.  If the coloured dye has seeped into the water in the bowl, without having flushed the toilet, there is a leak.

Check all water faucets and valves for leaks (inside and outside). Washers or cartridges may need replacing. Check to make sure no faucets have been left running.

On your water softener check for overflow and any possible leaks. Check settings to see how many times a week the softener is regenerating and whether it is running efficiently. Put the water softener on bypass and see if your water meter stops running.

Other places to look for potential leaks are near the hot water heater, the humidifier mounted on your furnace or a malfunctioning washing machine or dishwasher. Outside, you should check whether the sprinkler system is malfunctioning or if your hose is leaking somewhere.

It’s worth tracking down water leaks and fixing them. The EPA says that an ongoing dripping faucet can waste 11,000 L of water a year which is the equivalent of over 70 loads of laundry, or 290 five-minute showers.





Andrew Bryden
Andrew Bryden

Author



Also in Blog

How Alert Labs Is Helping Guelph Save Water
How Alert Labs Is Helping Guelph Save Water

by Andrew Bryden June 01, 2017

Last summer, the Water Services team at the City of Guelph worked with the Civic Accelerator to select a company to support conservation efforts by better informing residents about water use. Alert Labs was chosen to provide residents with water usage data down to the minute and send alerts about high water use, leaks and floods.

Continue Reading →

How to Tread Water As Costs Rise
How to Tread Water As Costs Rise

by Andrew Bryden April 24, 2017

With their municipal utility bills on the rise, homeowners are faced with paying more for their water. Just to maintain their existing household budget, they need to find ways to cut back and be more efficient.

Continue Reading →

How to save over $150 on your water bill
How to save over $150 on your water bill

by Andrew Bryden April 18, 2017

According to the EPA, the average household wastes almost 38,000 of water every year due to easy to fix leaks. This is $150 or more worth of water that is literally sent right down the drain. In ten per cent of those households, the cost of wasted water is $500 or more per year. 

Continue Reading →