Find and fix leaks in your home
Leaks are the hidden water wasters in your home. Save water and money by following these leak-finding tips.
Turn off the water
Before you look for leaks, make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your home.
Locate your water meter
About 90 percent of all area residential water meters are located in the front sidewalk. The first step is to check your water meter for movement. Look at the top of the meter. You'll notice a red or white triangle or pinwheel called a flow indicator. The flow indicator will move whenever water is passing through it. If your meter doesn't have a flow indicator, you can use the sweep hand on the register to indicate water loss. If either the flow indicator or the sweep hand is moving, you may have a leak or malfunction. Learn more about your water meter.
Check your toilets
The most common cause of leaks are toilets. Replacing worn rubber toilet flappers usually corrects the problem. Learn how to test for toilet leaks.
Check your irrigation system
Shut off the anti-siphon valve that serves your sprinkler system. Check the flow indicator at the water meter. If the flow indicator stopped moving, the sprinkler system is the problem. Watch this "How to find a leak in your irrigation system" video tutorial.
Check your pool
To find out if you have a leak in your pool or spa, perform the bucket test, shown in this "How to find a leak in your pool or spa" video.
Check your water softener
Most softeners have a bypass lever. Turn the lever to allow water to bypass the softener. Check the flow indicator at the meter. If the flow indicator is no longer moving, you have isolated the leak to your softener. (You also can check for leaking swamp coolers, water-cooled air conditioners, ice machines and reverse-osmosis units by turning the bypass lever on each and checking the meter.)
Check your main service line
To find out if you have a leak in your main service line, follow the steps outlined in this "How to find a leak in your main service line" video.
After you’ve finished testing for leaks, be sure to close the water meter cap to prevent damage to the lens, and replace the meter box lid. If you find a simple leak like your toilet flapper or kitchen faucet, you can likely fix the problem yourself, but if you are not able to find the leak or the situation is more complicated, you may want to consider contacting a professional plumber.