A water leak can cause water damage, which is expensive to fix, but the problem is exacerbated because we cannot see many of the leaks in our homes. Many water carrying plumbing pipes and joints are hidden out of sight in hard to reach areas. So, if you suspect that you have a leak, it can be very difficult to locate it and fix it. The longer a water leak is active, the more water that escapes, and this increases the scale of the damage. A single dripping pipe can even damage the foundations of your home in extreme circumstances. In this article, we will show you how to detect a hidden water leak using your water meter.
- Shut Off the Water Using Appliances
It’s important to get an accurate reading from your water meter during this entire process. The first thing you need to do is go around your home and turn off the water supply to each and every water using appliance. This includes the ice maker in your refrigerator and the water supply to any high end coffee making machines. If the appliance requires water, turn off the water, and make sure the fixture supplying that machine is tightly closed. Every faucet in the home needs to be shut off, and at this point, you may even notice a leaky faucet that can be easily fixed by changing the washer.
- Update People in Your Home
The best time to carry out an accurate water meter reading is when the home is empty. But, if you cannot schedule a good time for this water leak finding process, there may be family and friends in your home. If this is the case, make sure that they all understand that they cannot use any water for approximately half an hour, or the reading will not be accurate. If they need to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, make sure this is all done before you begin.
- Take a Water Meter Reading
Locate the water meter, this could be in your home, or it may be out at the kerbside where the water main joins your plumbing system at your property line. Note the time, check the needle, and take your first reading and then wait for 30 minutes. Then take a second water meter reading to see if the needle position has changed.
- Interpreting the Results
Remember, every plumbing fixture and water using appliance has been turned off, and no water was used during the 30 minute period. So, if the water meter reading has changed, it means that there is a hidden water leak somewhere in your home.
- Fixing the Water Leaks
A small water leak can waste a lot of water and cause a great deal of water damage over a prolonged period of time. So, it makes sense to fix any water leaks as quickly as possible to limit the damage and save money. Finding a hidden water leak can be difficult without formal plumbing training and specialized equipment. A local certified plumber will be able to locate and fix your water leaks quickly, which will save you money in the medium to long term.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.