Check Your Utility Bill and Water Meter
Water use is measured by a meter usually located outside of your home. The meter’s read dial is an effective tool for finding hidden plumbing leaks.
Check your water bill
Take a look at your water usage during a colder month (with no irrigation), such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there may be serious leaks.
Read your water meter
Most analog water meters have a leak indicator cog or dial that should only rotate when water is being used. You can also try reading the meter before and after a two-hour, no-water-use period. If the meter dial isn’t exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
Identify and Fix Leaks
It’s always worth our time to stop plumbing leaks. These common headaches can result in thousands of gallons of wasted water, bill increases, and potential property damage if not addressed promptly. Protect your wallet and our precious water supplies with routine maintenance.
Find and fix toilet leaks
Identify leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.
Worn-out toilet flappers can cause leaks—luckily, new flappers are a cheap and easy fix. Consult your local hardware store or licensed plumber. Bring the old flapper to the hardware store to make sure you buy the best fit.
Find and fix showerhead leaks
If your showerhead is leaking, try tightening it. If it still leaks, remove the showerhead, clean it, and determine whether the valve or other parts need to be replaced.
Find and fix faucet leaks
Worn-out faucet washers and gaskets are classic leak culprits—replace them when needed. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip-per-second can waste the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!
Call an expert
Think you have a serious leak? Contact a plumbing professional. If you rent, report any suspected leaks to your landlord or property manager.
Some utility providers offer free water use evaluations for homes and businesses. A water conservation professional can analyze how you use water, check for common household leaks, and provide tips, tools, and free devices for saving water and money.
Examine Your Irrigation System
A great deal of water can be wasted outside the home depending on how and when water is used.
Check your system
Clogged, leaking, or misaligned drip emitters and sprinkler heads can waste a lot of water—and money. Once a season, check sprinklers and drip emitters for clogs, leaks, and faulty heads that may need repairs or replacement.
Check your hoses
Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and make a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.