Some of our customers' water meters are located outside, under the ground. These customers cannot read their own meters to check for leaks.
However, if you have an inside meter (usually in the basement near the water heater or main turn-off valve) checking for leaks is easy.
Detecting Toilet Leaks Video
The flapper is a large rubber plug in the bottom of the toilet tank. The toilet tank is located in the back of the toilet where the unused water for the toilet bowl is stored. If you see or hear any water movement in the toilet bowl when it has NOT been used recently, you may have a flapper leak. To check for a leak:
Examine the water level. If water is leaking into the top of the overflow pipe, the ballcock valve needs adjusting or replacing. If you are not sure if the water is spilling into the overflow pipe, place some finely ground pepper or baby powder along the walls of the toilet tank. If the powder moves toward the center, you have an overflow leak.
Adjust the refill tube above the water line, 1/4" over the overflow pipe. Clip the tube to the overflow pipe to stabilize it so it does not insert deeply into the overflow pipe. The refill tube should never be "stuck down" into the overflow pipe.
Hose bibbs and outside faucets are often left running -- particularly in the spring and summer when residents are away. It is important to prevent someone from using your water without your permission. When leaving your home for an extended period, turn your outside faucet off from the inside valve to protect against water loss. If you are unable to find this valve, please contact us.
Hose bibbs and outside faucets are sometimes left on for protracted periods of time. Common garden hoses can use up to 630 - 1,020 gallons per hour; larger hoses use more. Since our water and sewer rates are based on an “average daily consumption” (ADC), the ADC and the amount of the bill may substantially increase due to extended outside water usage or water loss.
If you need help investigating your high bill concerns, please contact an agent weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at 301-206-4001, 1-800-828-6439, TTY 301-206-8345, or contact us online.