Considering how much water you use in your home for everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning and hygiene, it’s critical that you keep your plumbing infrastructure in good condition. You rely on water every single day, and when defects or issues occur within appliances or pipes, it could be disastrous to the efficiency of those systems and to the condition of your home.
Every homeowner should, at the very least, know how to identify the presence of a plumbing leak. The best ways to do this involve tracking water usage, and there are a few ways you can accomplish this.
Keep an eye on your water bills
Your water bills should be fairly consistent unless you see big rate increases. If you see big increases on your bill that can’t be explained by you using much more water than usual, this is likely a sign of a leak.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average family of four will use around 12,000 gallons per month, but maybe more during the summer for watering gardens or filling pools. Even a small leak could waste thousands of gallons per year, so tracking your water bill for higher-than-average prices could alert you to a leak.
Check your water meter
If you have any reason to suspect a leak after monitoring your water usage and bills, you should check the water meter for your home. This may be found on the side or back of your house, or in an area near the street under a cover.
Try turning off all of the water faucets in your home and make sure no water-based appliances are running. Check the water meter and note the numbers, then check again in an hour. If the numbers changed within that hour, it means you likely have a leak somewhere in your system.
The next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside. You may need to turn off the shutoff valve in your main water supply pipe, located in the basement or utility room where the water enters your home. Check the meter, write the numbers down again and wait another hour. If the numbers changed again in that time, the leak is in the water line underground that runs to your house. If the numbers did not change, the leak is somewhere in your home.
Check easily accessible sources
Check all appliances and fixtures, as well as all visible pipes, and see if you can find the leak in those locations. If the leak is not visible, pay special attention to walls, ceilings and floors for wet spots or signs of water damage that could indicate the presence of a hidden leak.
In addition to monitoring your water usage on a regular basis, your best bet is to work with a professional plumber. They will be able to evaluate your system and pinpoint exactly where any leak is located and take the appropriate action to solve the problem. Contact Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. today to schedule an appointment.