How to Check For a Leak

HOW TO CHECK FOR A LEAK

If you receive a high bill, ask yourself these questions before you call EWD:
• Did you water your lawn more than usual?
• Did you have house guests?
• Could you have left a hose running?
• Did you refill or top‐off your pool or spa?
• Have you planted a new garden, or replaced sod that required extra watering?
• Did you fix a toilet that was not operating properly?

If the answers are all ‘no’, here are some things you can do:Find your meter and take a reading.  Compare the reading with your bill.  If the reading is lower than what your bill says, there was a mis‐read.  Contact our office so the bill can be corrected.   While you’re still at the meter, look at the leak indicator (little red triangle or oblong).  You may have to watch it for several minutes to determine movement.   If everything in your house and yard are off, the indicator should not move; if it is moving you have an active leak.   

If the leak indicator is moving. Locate your shut‐off valve.   It is normally located at the wall of your house, on the same side as the water meter.  Turn the valve off; go inside and turn on a faucet.  After a trickle, there should be no water from the faucet. This tells you that the valve is working properly. Return to the meter; if the indicator is still moving, there is a leak between the meter and the shut‐off valve.   

If the indicator stops when the valve is off, your problem is beyond the valve.This can be inside the house, or from spigots.  Turn the valve on so the leak indicator is moving again. Turn off each toilet valve, one at a time, and check for movement again.  Obviously this is a two‐person job.  As you turn each toilet valve off and on in sequence, you may be able to pinpoint the problem area. If toilets are not the cause, you need to repeat the process with each appliance or fixture that uses water; the ice maker, washing machine, water heater, filter system, outside hose bibs.   

If you still have not determined the source of a high‐bill, please check your toilets.  The flapper at the bottom of the tank may be leaking intermittently.  To check the flapper simply add a few drops of food‐
coloring to the tank before you go to bed and have used the toilet for the last time.  In the morning check the bowl.  If any color has migrated to the bowl your flapper should be replaced. If you don’t have food‐coloring readily available, EWD has tablets available for this purpose in the lobby.