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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.

How to find leaks

Not sure if you have a leak? Watch these videos to find the common sources of home leaks, as well as how to use your water meter as a tool to check for constantly running water.

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Thanks to our new advanced metering technology, we reach out to account holders when continuous water flow is detected through the water meter at your property for at least three days. 

Checking your meter

Your water meter is the main tool you'll use to help find out if you have a leak. You'll always come back to the meter to determine if you've isolated the source of the leak, or fixed it!

Where is my shutoff?

To isolate the source of a leak, you'll want to find out if it is indoors or outdoors. This video shows you where the indoor shutoff may be located. Once you know the water is off inside the home, you can look for leaks outside the home.

Browse the tabs below for information on how to find leaks in common places throughout your home.

Main service line

  1. Turn off all water inside and outside your home, then check the red or white flow-indicator triangle on your water meter. If it's still moving, you may have a leak.
  2. Find your water shutoff valve, usually in your front yard near the sewer riser cap, in your garage or in your home's manifold system. Make sure your water is turned off at these sources.
  3. Go back to your meter and check the flow-indicator triangle. If it is still moving, the leak is most likely underground between the shutoff valve and the water meter. If the triangle has stopped moving, the leak is somewhere else around your home.
  4. You'll also need to shut off your anti-siphon valve. If the flow-indicator triangle continues to move after the anti-siphon valve has been shut off, your anti-siphon valve may be broken and will need to be repaired or replaced. Anti-siphon valves should be tested once a year.

Irrigation system

  1. Turn off the valves to your irrigation system and check the flow-indicator arrow. If it has stopped moving, you may have a leak in your irrigation system.
  2. Check your valve box to see if there is any water pooling in or around the box.
  3. Walk your property to check for pools of water and look for bubbles under your grass where water may have gotten trapped.
  4. Check your irrigation system for cracked or broken parts. You may want to hire a landscape professional to help with repairs.


Did you know that more than 20 percent of gravity-flush toilets leak? If your toilet runs for a long time or suffers from an occasional "phantom" flush, follow these tips to find and stop the leak.

Note: These tips pertain to traditional gravity-flush toilets and not high-efficiency toilets. If you are not sure about your ability to perform any of these steps, please consider contacting a licensed plumber.

Replacing worn parts
  • Before replacing worn parts, turn off the water supply valve to the tank. This is usually located on the wall under the toilet. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water.
  • Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions for installing the part. If you have trouble, most major plumbing manufacturers have detailed assistance on their websites as well as toll-free telephone numbers to call for assistance.
  • After installing the parts, turn the water on and test-flush the toilet once or twice. If you replaced the flapper, perform the dye test again to ensure the flapper fits properly. Not all flappers fit properly in all toilets so you may still have a leak.
  • In some cases, a leaking flapper may be the result of a worn surface on the seat against which the flapper rests. You can try smoothing the seat with steel wool or a scouring pad. If this doesn't correct the problem, you may need to replace the flapper seat and overflow tube assembly.


It may seem like a small issue, but a leaky faucet can waste several gallons of water per day. In addition, a dripping faucet may deteriorate a sink bowl and provide moisture for ants, flies, and other insects.

With so many types of faucets on the market, the best source of repair information for a specific product is the manufacturer's website. However, most faucets have a similar assembly with the same basic parts.

  1. Purchase a repair kit at your local hardware store. The kit should include a special adjusting ring wrench, seals, springs, and O-rings. Washer assortment kits may be more cost-effective than buying washers individually.
  2. Shut off the cold and hot water supply valves below the sink.
  3. Close the drain. This will prevent materials from accidentally slipping into the drain while you are working.
  4. Wrap the wrench with masking or duct tape to prevent scratching the fixtures.
  5. Write down and/or lay out parts to remember their order.
  6. Faucet handles usually have a plastic decorative button that conceals a screw underneath. Unscrew this to allow the handle to be removed. Grip the large hexagonal nut and unscrew it to reveal the stem. If your faucet does not have decorative handles, simply unscrew the already exposed hexagonal nut.
  7. With the hexagonal nut loose, pull out the stem.
  8. At the bottom of the stem you will see a rubber washer held in place by a screw. Remove and replace the washer with one of the same size, then reassemble.
  9. If the faucet leaks only when the faucet is on, follow steps 1-5 then replace the packing (the pliable material beneath the hexagonal nut).
  10. Coat the threads of the stem with petroleum jelly.
  11. Reassemble the faucet and turn the supply valves back on.
  12. If the faucet continues to leak, the outer housing may be cracked. If this is the case, buying a new faucet may be the only solution.

Water softeners

Most softeners have a bypass lever. Turn the lever to allow water to bypass the softener. Check the flow indicator at the water 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).

If you are not able to find the leak, you may want to consider contacting a professional plumber to locate and fix the leak. If you find a simple leak, like your toilet flapper or kitchen faucet, you may want to fix the problem yourself.

For more information, call the Conservation Help line at 702-258-SAVE.

Pools and spas

One of the easiest ways to test your pool for leaks is to perform a bucket test.

How to perform a bucket test

  1. Turn off the automatic fill valve.
  2. Place a bucket on a step where the bucket rim is at least a few inches above the water line.
  3. Place a heavy weight in the bucket and add water until the water level inside the bucket is equal with the water in the pool.
  4. Leave the bucket in the pool undisturbed for several days, then compare the water level in the bucket to the water level in the pool. If the water level in the bucket is noticeably higher than the water level in the pool, you may have a leak in your pool. Contact a pool leak detection specialist for more help.

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.

Need help?

If you find a simple leak like your toilet flapper or kitchen faucet, you can likely fix the problem yourself, but if you're not able to find the leak or the situation is more complicated, you may want to contact a professional.

Find a Water Smart Plumber

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