Inspect Your Home for Water-Wasting Leaks

An unexpected high water bill is often the first sign of high water use. Dripping faucets and leaking pipes can have an adverse effect on your water bill. Steady drips and small leaks can waste as much as 50 to 100 gallons of water per day. Conducting periodic leak inspections can help you save money and water, and in some cases avoid possible water damage to your home. Inspecting for leaks is not difficult and takes very little time. Check out this 10 Minute WaterSense challenge to Detect and Chase Down Leaks

How to use this guide

This guide takes you step-by-step on how to discover typical residential leaks and reduce water use in your home.
You can proceed through the presentation in order or click on the area of concern to learn more information about inspecting your home for leaks.
We recommend opening the guide in full screen using the expand function located in the bottom right corner.  

  1. Locate and check your water meter. Write down the meter reading, wait as long as possible (at least a few hours) before using any water. Look at the meter reading again and see if there is a difference in the readings. Any change in the readings indicates unwanted water usage. 
  2. Check your toilets. Place about 10 drops of food coloring into your toilet tank. Wait 15-20 minutes without flushing the toilet. Look into the toilet bowl. Any color in your bowl indicates that your toilet is leaking. Don't have food coloring on hand? Try substituting the food coloring for coffee or tea that will stain the color of the water in the toilet tank.  
  3. Inspect valves and other plumbing fixtures. Verify that none of the numerous valves that exist in your system leak or drip. Check for leaks and drips in any fixture or device in your home that uses water. 
  4. Every spring, plan to inspect irrigation systems, swimming pools and other exterior features as temperatures warm and outdoor activities increase.
Still having trouble identifying a leak and need some additional assistance? Check out our Water Use & Efficiency Assessments site for more information or to request an in home assessment with one of our team members.