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How to Check for Water Leaks in Your Home

Updated on July 15, 2013

Detecting Water Leaks in Homes

I've worked for a Water Department back in 2006-2007 in the Customer Service Department. All my calls were regarding peoples' bills and answering questions that people may have.

I would receive a lot of calls from customers wondering why their water bills are so high and about 85% of the time the customer had a water leak that they did not know about.

In this lens, I'll explain how you can check if you have a water leak in your home and help save money.

Take a Water Leak Poll

Do you have a water leak in your home?

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Plumber's How To Fix Leaks Books

Here are some helpful plumbers books if you would like to fix the leaks yourself.

Why Is My Water Bill So High? - Questions to Start Asking Yourself First

When a customer calls me wondering why their water bill is so high, I first start off asking them some important questions:

  1. Did you have company over and may have used more water than usual?
  2. Have you watered your grass? If so, did you water it longer than you usually do or may have forgotten to turn the water off?
  3. Did you do extra cleaning in your home which uses more water?
  4. Have you heard your toilet running?
  5. Have you filled up a swimming pool?

How to Check for Water Leaks? - Take a Water Leak Test

Now if the customer answered "No" to all the questions above, I then proceed with having them do a 1 Hour Leak test. Here are the steps:

  1. First turn off all water in your home and do not use it for 1 hour.
  2. Go to your water meter (Usually located in your front yard at the sidewalk) and read your meter.
  3. Write down whatever the meter is reading and wait 1 Hour. (Remember to not use any water at all during this time.)
  4. After 1 hour, go back to your water meter and see what it's reading. If it's saying something different than what you have written down, then you have a water leak. If it's reading the same then you do not have a leak in your home and should start monitoring your water usage carefully.

Important to Have Flood Insurance

Make sure you have flood insurance just in case the bad leak floods your home. You don't want to be left paying a high price because of flood damage in your home.

Water Leak Sink
Water Leak Sink

Got a Leak? Call Your Local Plumber

Now sometimes it's hard to find the where the leak is in your home, so you'll need to hire a plumber. Your local Water Department does not pay for repairs so you'll need to contact a plumber. Make sure you get the leak fix quickly to avoid a higher bill and also creating the leak to become bigger.

Once your leak is fix, call your local Water Department and tell them about your leak and they may credit your bill and compare your usage from last year to see how much they'll credit you. Be prepare to give them your plumber receipt for proof of repairs.

Fix Your Leak Yourself - DIY

Sometimes hiring a plumber can be expensive. If you spot where your leak is, you can try fixing the leak yourself. Here are some products that can help you.

Did You Find "How To Check For Water Leaks In Your Home Tips" Helpful?

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    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Aww thanks Tipi! Working at the Water Department was sure helpful learning how to find out if people's home had a leak.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You certainly came away from that job with the Water Department with good advice to share for those with possible water leak problems. I love your idea of shutting off the water and checking the meter and waiting an hour to check again, that makes such good sense! Water gets expensive when its being wasted, I have had the running toilet problem but only for a couple hours before I noticed it but if someone goes away for the day or longer, that can add up quick. I love practical suggestions and you seem to have a lot of them that you've gained in life! :)

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @vineliner57: Yikes...don't you hate that when pipes break? But the good thing is you got it fixed!

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      Several years ago we had a leak in the water main and ran up a bill that was almost $100 before it got fixed!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Projectlazy: Oh bummer! But the good thing is your leaks are fixed.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @IMHustle: Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      IMHustle 5 years ago

      Good information here that will help many get down to the bottom of those water leaks.

    • Projectlazy profile image

      Projectlazy 5 years ago

      The cost of water leaks can really add up. I spent two days fixing them all in my last house

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Commandrix: I'm glad you've enjoyed my tips Kitty! Glad your leak has been repaired.

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

      Thanks for the tips. Last time I had a leak, it took replacing a faucet on my kitchen sink to repair it.

    • jamjar919 lm profile image

      jamjar919 lm 5 years ago

      Helped me fix that annoying link at the back of the sink.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Board-Game-Brooke: Well now you know about the meter trick for the future.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: You're welcome!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      This was quite helpful. Thanks for the info.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      Good tips! I had a water leak once and didn't know it. I wish I'd known about the meter trick then -- I would have caught it sooner.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Jack2205: Oh no! Having a leak flood in your home is no fun at all! I hope it's all fix and not too much damage accrued.

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 5 years ago

      We had a flood in our home from a water leak. This is excellent information.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Jogalog: Yeah having water damage is not fun at all!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Sara Dowling: You're welcome!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @choosehappy: No they're not! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 5 years ago

      I've had problems with water leaks in the past. They can cause a lot of damage before you're even aware of them.

    • Sara Dowling profile image

      Sara Dowling 5 years ago

      Thank you for the useful tips, water is a precious resource so it's important to find and fix any leaks

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      Great help! Water leaks are so not fun!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @Earnlat: You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Earnlat profile image

      Earnlat 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info, many folks have dealt with this problem!


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