Detecting leaks with the help your water meter

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Water leaks can be a serious issue, and many home owners notice them too late. Failure to identify a leak in early stages can be a costly mistake.

Constant moisture can lead to cracks in concrete. This can cause serious structural damage, which can be costly to repair. The cost is usually not covered by insurance since home owners are required to conduct plumbing inspections. Leaks can also cause very high water bills. Leaking concealed pipes can cause damp floorings and walls. Damp floorings ruin wooden floorings by warping them. The constant moisture can also damage carpets. Damp walls can ruin expensive wall surfacing and paints. Also, dampness leads to the growth of fungi, which can seriously deteriorate indoor air quality and lead to your home having a moldy smell. In some serious cases, leaking pipes can erode away the soil beneath a house and cause the risk of a sinkhole.

Thus, it is very important to notice any important signs that may indicate a leak. If you are able to spot a leak very early on, it is possible to fix it for much less cost than a major repair. Also, fixing leaks early on prevents any other water damage that your house may be subjected to.

An important way to identify a leak is to pay attention to your water bills. You should maintain a written record of your water bills or maintain a spreadsheet of your monthly water bills. Once you have a written record of all your bills, you can establish a trend of how your water usage. Some aberrations in this trends are normal, such as with the change of seasons, when hosting guests or when you purchase new water consuming appliances. But if you notice any sudden increase in water bills without any apparent reason, then you must check if you have a leak in your plumbing.

You can directly make use of your meter to check for leaks.

  • Locate the water meter for your house, it is likely to be located near the connection of your house’s plumbing to the service line. If you are not able to find your water meter, you can contact your water utility company.
  • Turn off all the taps, faucets and valves to all water consuming appliances in your home.
  • Then check the meter to see if it still shows water being consumed. If it is an analog meter, then you will likely see a dial with a hand which spins around every 10 gallons to show water consumption. Wait half an hour or an hour and then check the numbers indicating the water consumed.

If the dial is moving or the meter shows the water is being consumed even when all your taps are closed, then it is likely a sign of a leak. Once you have determined there is a leak, you should take steps to try to narrow it down. The water bill or water meter may indicate that there is a leak, but it cannot help you narrow down where the leak may be.

Most common sources of leaks are overflowing toilet flushes. You can most often determine that by the sound of the overflowing flush. If you are not sure if there is a leak in the toilet flush or not, try the color or dye test. Remove the top cover from the flush tank a few minutes after the last flush. Then add a few drops of food coloring. If there is a leak, the dyed water should be easily visible in the toilet, and hence you can be sure whether or not there is a leak.

You should check for any dampness in the flooring or walls. You should look for ditches in your yard or patches with more lush growth of plants than the surrounding area. Check if there is a leak in the connection from the service line to your plumbing. Since the pressure is relatively high here, you must hear a hissing sound if there is a leak. Check for warping of wooden floorings.

Once you have detected a leak, you must contact a professional plumber to have the leak fixed. The earlier you detect any leaks, smaller of an issue it will likely be, and the less it will cost to repair. If you have detected that there exists a leak but are unable to determine the source a professional plumber can help you figure out the leak and get it fixed. We at Kwik Plumbers offer various sophisticated solutions for detecting and fixing any kind of pipe leaks. If you are aware of a leak, please act on it, since ignoring the problem will not make it go away, it will only cause more damage and cost more in repairs later. Contact us now to get an appointment with our professional plumbers.



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