How To Check if your Water Pipes are Leaking

Water is a scarce resource. Even if the Earth’s surface is 70% covered with water, much of this is saltwater, which humans cannot drink. For water utilities, leakages are a big waste, whether or not this is paid for by consumers. If you suddenly find your water bill jumping beyond the normal range, then you might have a leak.

Leaks are easy to spot if they are external. For example, you might have a faucet that is not properly closing. You can easily replace this with a  new faucet or fixture. However, if the leak is in your piping system, then you might not be able to find it until it’s too late.

Here is a seven-step process of finding leaks in your water pipes. What you are basically doing is turning off all water outlets inside the house. If there are no leaks, then you can assume that the meter should not be running.

  • Close each and every faucet, shower, hose, toilet tank, and other possible exits of running water.
  • If you’re not alone at your house, ask everyone to refrain from using water for a few minutes, while you run your test.
  • As you close all faucets and fixtures, observe if there are any leaks. When turning off the toilet, listen for any swooshing or bubbling noises. If there are any such noises, you might want to have your toilet fixture repaired or replaced first.
  • What you want to do here is to test if your water meter is still running even when everything is turned off. Now look for your water meter. This is usually located adjacent to your water mains switch.
  • Open the meter lid, such that you can see the reading.
  • The meter usually has an indicator that rotates when the meter is running. The faster the flow of water, the faster the rotation.
  • If there are no leaks, then the meter should not be rotating. However, if you are 100% sure that no faucets or fixtures are turned on inside your house, but the meter is still rotating, this means that you have a leak somewhere in your pipes.

If you spot a leaking faucet, or if you forgot to turn off the faucet for a toilet water cabinet somewhere, then try to repeat the procedure. The leak might just be in one of your faucets.
However, if you are sure that everything is turned off, but you still get a running meter, you will need to have a plumber pinpoint the exact source of the leak.

If you have confirmed that the leak is in your water pipes, a plumbing professional can pinpoint the exact source with the use of specialized tools. Depending on the severity of your leak, you can have the leaking part repaired, or you might need to replace the piping inside the entire house. If you need repairs, that might be a bit complicated, though, especially if your pipes are underground, or laid underneath your flooring.


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