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I Got a High Water Bill Now What? Maybe I have a leak in my home. Where could it be?

Updated on February 23, 2015
Your water bill is higher than it should be?  Look here first.  Toilets are the most common source of leaks in your home! Once you have checked all of the common places in your house, you can call someone to help look such as a leak detection company
Your water bill is higher than it should be? Look here first. Toilets are the most common source of leaks in your home! Once you have checked all of the common places in your house, you can call someone to help look such as a leak detection company | Source

Check Your Water Meter

The small triangle is a "leak indicator".  It shows very small amounts of water that are being used in your home or business.  It should be completely still if all fixtures in the home are turned off.
The small triangle is a "leak indicator". It shows very small amounts of water that are being used in your home or business. It should be completely still if all fixtures in the home are turned off. | Source

Leak Indicators Can Look a Little Different

This water meter has a small "star" instead of a triangle. Once you have checked to make sure your toilets are not leaking, any rotation of this star or triangle indicates a likely leak.
This water meter has a small "star" instead of a triangle. Once you have checked to make sure your toilets are not leaking, any rotation of this star or triangle indicates a likely leak. | Source

You Can Detect Most Of Your Own Leaks Around the House

If you suspect you have a water leak, you do not always need to call someone right away. Often, you can find a leak in your own home without calling in a professional. The following is a list of locations to look in your home prior to calling in help. Leaks can account for 20% or more of your water bill. Conserve water and save money by checking your home regularly for leaks. A leak as small as the period right . there can leak as much as 4000 gallons a month. That is how much water a family often uses for the whole month! That period can double your water bill! **Disclaimer** Obviously, you must shut off the water service into your home prior to working on many of these below spots around your home. Even if the fixture has its own shut-off valve, you will never go wrong closing the main shut-of line.

In the kitchen look for:

  1. The Dishwasher – Check for leaks under the sink where a hose connects to the water supply. Look around the bottom of the dishwasher for evidence of water leakage, such as discolored, warped, or soft flooring, or water damage to cabinets. You will likely need to call a dishwasher service company to help you repair the dishwasher.
  2. Refrigerator – If your refrigerator has an icemaker, make sure the hose connection is securely attached to the water supply line. Also, a wet spot on the floor may be a sign of a crimped icemaker supply line about to become a leak. You may need to call someone to come and repair the refrigerator if it is not an ice maker line.
  3. Sink – Replace worn caulk around sinks, and check the pipes and fittings under the sink for leaks. A slow-draining pipe may indicate a partially blocked drain that needs cleaning.

In the Bathroom Look for:

1. Showers and bathtubs Remove and replace old or worn or cracked caulk and grout. Water can leak through these damaged seals, causing stains or soft areas around nearby walls and floors

2. Sinks Check under the sink for leaks from water supply lines or drainpipes. Gaskets in the sink can become worn and need to be replaced. Soon, our site will tell you how to replace these gaskets!

3. Toilets – Can have several different problems. Many you can fix yourself.

  • Float arm problems can be found by taking the top of the toilet off, and flushing the toilet. Listen to make sure that you hear the water shut off. If the water does not shut off and runs into the overflow pipe, you may need to gently bend the float arm to stop the water.
  • Flapper Valve problems can be quiet leaks tat cause the water to leak into the toilet bowl, and the toilet to constantly re-fill without flushing.
  • Clogs can result from too much toilet paper or objects such as hanging bowl deodorants.
  • Some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode internal plastic or rubber parts, leading to a leak.
  • Wax Rings - Leaks can also occur at the base of the toilet where a wax ring seals the toilet to the sewer pipe.

Basement, Laundry or Utility room

  1. Washing machine – Check hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around hose ends. Replace the hose if a problem is found or every three to five years as part of a proactive maintenance program. To help make sure the hose doesn’t kink, leave at least four inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. Even if you can’t find a source of water, the washing machine may only leak if the machine has been running.
  2. Water heater – Most water heaters last eight to 15 years. Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a leak. Water heaters should be installed on the lowest level of the home, next to a floor drain, or inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.
  3. Sump pump – Battery-operated back-up sump pumps can help protect against power failure or failure of the primary pump. Test the sump pump before the start of each wet season. Sump pumps are not intended to last more than 10 years and must have some components replaced or serviced within those 10 years.
  4. Fire Suppression (sprinkler) systems- Many newer homes have these installed to prevent fire, and they can leak, often at the sprinkler heads. Make sure that they are all tightened.
  5. Humidifiers will often have water standing beneath them as a sign of a leak.
  6. Water Softeners - May run constantly if they have a leak. You are likely to hear the sound of running water when you get close to them.
  7. Outdoor faucets - These have a gasket in them similar to sinks that can be easily replaced.
  8. Swimming Pools - May have an automatic fill that does not require you to put a hose in the pool to add water, but may be adding water without your knowledge.
  9. Irrigation Systems - May leak, and you are likely to notice the standing water in the yard if there is a large enough leak on this system.

Since water may still come through an overflowing drain or cracks in the foundation walls, make sure items stored in the basement are kept off the floor. Furniture should be on casters or shims and arranged away from floor drains. Good Luck!

Water leak in a 3/4 inch supply line in Cincinnati, OH

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