Leaking plumbing can not only be costly to repair, but it can also cause serious damage to your home and your property. If you think you may have a leak but you’re not sure, there are a few simple checks you can do before you call in the experts. These easy methods will give you better insight as to whether or not you have a leak, and how severe the leak might be.
Checking Your Meter, Bill, and Usage
If you suspect you have a leak, take a closer look at your water meter. First, turn off the water in your home and shut off all appliances and faucets. If the meter starts to change rapidly, you probably have a fast-moving leak. If you notice no change or very little change, it’s either not leaking or you have a slow leak. Take a closer look at your water usage and your monthly water bill if you have one. The standard family of four uses around 12,000 gallons of water or less a month. If the number is higher, you could have a leak somewhere. A sudden jump in your water bill is another indication of a potential leak.
Test Toilets with Food Coloring
Your toilet can actually account for around 30-percent of your home’s total water usage. If you are concerned about the toilet running correctly, try this handy hack. Add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank, then wait approximately ten minutes. If the color starts to appear in the toilet bowl, you likely have a leak that is letting water flow from the tank to your drain. A leaky toilet can cost you big time, so it’s recommended that you call a plumber if it’s not an easy fix.
Don’t Forget the Outside
While most leaks happen inside, they can also occur outside, too. Take a close look at your spigots outside. Attach a garden hose to the spigot and look for any seeping water that comes through the connection while the hose is on. If you have an irrigation system, you should perform at least one check per year to look for leaks. You can easily detect leaks anywhere by being aware of any unusual foul smells that could be mold or mildew. Another tip? The older the home, the more potential for leaky plumbing. Check every connection including at all appliances so you can identify and locate the leak as soon as possible.