Household Leak Detection

Customer with Inside Meters:

If your water meter is located inside your home, you can look at the meter to help determine if you have a leak. Inside meters are usually located in the basement near the water heater or the main water shut-off valve.

Here’s how to check for a leak:

  • Make sure there is no water in use. (don’t flush the toilet, don’t use the washing machine or dishwasher and make sure all outside water is off)
  • Look at the water meter and locate the red dial. If that dial is moving, water is running in your home. (If you have a digital meter and water is running in your home, you will see numbers moving or the screen will be flashing)
  • If your meter indicates water is running, check for toilet leaks

If your water meter is located outside, please call us. We’re happy to help you determine if you have a leak. We’re available Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. and can be reached at 301-206-4001.

Toilet Leaks:

How to Check for Toilet Leaks

Most toilet leaks are silent. You don’t hear water running and you don’t see water leaking, yet your toilet is constantly using water.

A bad flapper is often the cause of a toilet leak. The seal is no longer tight and the water inside the tank is always filling, meaning your usage will be very high.

An average toilet leak can amount to 200 gallons of water of day or 6,000 gallons per month. A typical family of three experiencing a toilet leak would see an extra $325 on their quarterly bill because of just one leaking toilet!

Follow these steps to check for toilet leaks:

  1. Remove the tank cover
  2. Add a couple drops of food coloring to the water in the tank (enough to change the color)
  3. Wait 15–20 minutes
  4. Look inside the bowl
  5. If you see the colored water in the bowl, you have a leak
  6. You can turn off the water to the toilet until you’re able to repair it
  7. Check for toilet leaks twice a year

Other Leaks

Outside Hose Bibbs and Faucets:

Hose bibbs and outside faucets can also contribute to a high water bill. Make sure they are turned off and not leaking, especially during the warmer months when they are used more often. If you’re leaving home for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to turn off the water to the outside faucets. You’ll need to locate the valve on the inside of your home. The valve is usually located in the basement on the wall adjacent to the outside faucet.

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