A leak in your house can be easily overlooked if you are not properly educated on what to look for. The first sign something is amiss is usually when you see or feel your water pressure drop. You can detect this the majority of the time with your faucets, your shower heads and your toilets. In any case there are other ways to spot a leak.
- Check your usage. You should know the average amount of water that is used on a monthly basis in your home. If you see a spike in the amount of water being used and none of your habits have changed, this is a sure sign that a leak has occurred.
- Monitor your water bill. As mentioned above, not only will there be a spike in your usage, there will be a spike in your bill as well. What you will see is a steady increase, your bill should basically be the same every month and if that changes it’s time to call a plumber.
- Observe your water meter. If you think there might be a leak, turn off all of the water in your home and then observe the meter. If it begins to change immediately, you have a fast moving leak. If it doesn’t move immediately after an hour or two and comes back to check it again, if it has changed despite all of your water being off then this would be considered a slow moving leak. None are to be taken lightly.
- Food coloring. There is a neat trick to see if your toilets are working properly. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and wait. If the color appears in the bowl then you have a leak that is allowing the water of the tank to move to the bowl without you flushing.
- Don’t forget about outside plumbing. Remember that not all leaks will occur in your home, you have garden hose spigots and sprinkler systems that can waste massive amounts of water if there is a leak in them. Have your irrigation system inspected no less than once a year.
Frequent observation and maintenance is your ally. If you properly maintain your home you can significantly lower your chances of having a leak in the first place.