Drought conditions have required you to reduce your water usage. You're doing everything you can to cut back but your water bill continues to go up. You may have a leak that you're not aware of. Before you call the plumber, take a look around your house. You may be able to find where the leak is coming from. Here's a few tips to help you find out if you have a leak.
Check the Toilets
When you're faucets are leaking, they provide you with visible or auditory clues. You either see or hear the leaking water. However, a leaking toilet isn't always as easy to discover, especially if it's just a constant tiny flow from the tank. Place enough food coloring in your toilet tank to change the color of the water.
Allow the colored water to sit. After about 15 minutes, look inside the toilet bowl. If the water has turned blue, you have a leak in the toilet tank. Try adjusting the float that controls the water. If that doesn't work, you'll need to replace the flushing mechanism.
Inspect Your Ceilings
You may not realize this, but there are water pipes in your attic. Since you're not up there very often, they could leak for quite a while without you knowing it. Take a look at the ceilings in your home, including those that are in cabinets and closets. If you see water marks, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible. They'll need to inspect the water pipes that are in the attic.
Take a Look in the Yard
Underground water pipes can also leak. Unfortunately, those aren't always easy to find. One way to check for underground leaks is to look around your yard. Are there areas that are greener than others? Or, can you see visible puddles in your yard? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you have a leaky underground pipe.
Do a Water Test
You've checked everything listed above and you haven't found any leaks. That means you either don't have a problem, or you have a problem located somewhere under the foundation or deeper underground. This is where the water test comes in handy. Locate your main water meter. It's probably outside along the property line.
Turn the water off and make a note of the reading on the meter. Leave the water off for about 15 minutes. Turn the water back on and check the readings on the meter. The numbers should be exactly the same. If they aren't, you have an underground leak and you'll need to call a plumber as soon as possible.
If you're living under strict drought restrictions, wasted water can get expensive. If you suspect you have a leak, the tips provided above will help you locate the problem. For further assistance with plumbing leaks, be sure to contact a plumber as soon as possible.
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2 September 2015
My homes have always had either copper or PVC plumbing pipes. But when my plumbing system needed an overhaul last spring, I wanted a piping system for my home that I could work on myself when needed. There were a lot of good reasons to choose PEX piping, but my favorite thing about the PEX piping is that it's easy to work with, even if you're a beginner like me. Now I can make small repairs myself instead of calling the plumber every time I have a minor leak or other small problem. I still call the plumber for the big stuff, but it's more affordable now that I can take care of small issues myself. I started this blog to help others learn how they, too, can do DIY plumbing repairs at home.