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Do you have a leak?

Checking for leaks

Household leaks whether small or large can cost you.  Leaks can create damage to your home, and also substantially increase your water bill.  Leaks are often found in household fixtures such as toilets, sinks, pipes, hoses and more.  Toilets account for the largest number of indoor leaks.  It is important to know that leaks are not always obvious; in fact they can be deceptive.  

Water meter check

Water meters are designed to measure the amount of water you use in your home.  Meters are positive displacement devices, which means the register on the meter cannot move unless water moves through the meter.  The more water you use, the more your water meter registers, which means a higher water bill.  Your water meter is a great place to begin looking for leaks.  Follow these steps to help identify a leak:

  1. Make sure no one in the home is using water: that means no washing hands, dishes, laundry - no flushing toilets, you get the idea, NO WATER USAGE (we recommend performing this test overnight)
  2. Find your water meter:  The water meter is typically found in a basement (along the wall closest to the street), if there is no basement a crawl space or utility room are other possible locations
  3. Check out the register/row of numbers on the top of the meter: if the numbers are moving and there is no water on in the home, then you most likely have a leak (Remember: those numbers cannot move unless water is pushing through your meter)

You can identify leaks by simply walking through your home looking for dripping fixtures, listening for the sound of running water, and looking for puddles of water .  Be sure not to forget the places you don't often go, including outside water sources, such as hose bibs.

Inspect faucets and shower heads for  leaks.  The smallest drip can waste thousands of gallons.  The most common cause for leaks in fixtures are loose handles, and worn out washers or gaskets.  

Toilet leaks

Toilets are the number one cause of household leaks.  You can't always hear a toilet leak so it is important to perform a dye test on your toilet.  Dye test can be performed by using dye tablets, dark color food coloring or even a packet of powdered drink mix.  Which ever option you choose to use follow these steps:

  1. Remove the lid to the tank portion of your toilet
  2. Drop the dye tablet, food coloring or powdered mix in the tank and let it sit for approximately 20 minutes
  3. After the waiting period ends, if the water in the bowl portion of your toilet turned color, you have a leak

If you find a toilet leak, now you have to determin where the leak is located.  


While most small leak repairs can be handled by you, it is important to know when you can't do it yourself.  Contact a certified plumber if you are unable to complete a repair.

Responsibility of leaks

HWSA owns the water and sewer mains in the street.  If you have a public service line, you as a property owner are responsible for all leaks that occurs at the connection point, lateral, and internal plumbing.  Any leaks found that require a repair are the responsibility of the property owner, including all costs associated with the leak.  HWSA may attempt to help customers locate a leak, however it is ultimately the customers responsibility.  It is extremely important to find and correct leaks immediately.