What To Do If Your Water System Leaking?
If you suspect that your water system may have a leak, a few simple steps can often confirm the problem for you.
Confirming a Water Leak
- Turn off all water sources inside the house, so that no water is being used. This includes sinks, showers, washing machines, toilets, and any other water using appliance or device.
- Once you are sure every water source has been turned off, find and watch your Water Meter. If the digital numbers are increasing as you watch, there is definitely a leak in the system. If you do not see the numbers moving, check for a slow leak. Record the meter reading you see at the start, then check again in 10-20 minutes. If the number has advanced, you have a slow leak.
Checking the Shut Off Valve
- Once you confirm a leak, your next step is to check the shut off valve. Find the main shut-off valve to your property (usually close to the meter) and turn the valve off.
- With the valve off, run a faucet inside to check.
- If any water continues to flow from the faucet after a minute, the shut-off valve is not working correctly and needs to be checked. If the water stops, the shut-off valve is fine.
- Confirm this by checking the meter again. If the numbers have stopped moving and you can no longer detect even a slow leak, then the leak detected at the beginning is somewhere in the house.
If the Leak is Inside
- If you’ve checked the shut-off valve operation and the shut off valve is working properly, then the leak is most likely somewhere in the house. Check toilets, washing machines, faucets, etc. for any sign of a leak.
- Toilets are often a source of leaks, especially when the flapper valve wears out. To check this, flush the toilet (after turning the water to your house back on), and while the reservoir is still filling, add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to the water in the reservoir. Wait 15-30 minutes. If you see the food color migrate to the toilet bowl, then the flapper valve needs to be replaced.
- If you determine the leak is somewhere in your house, we recommend you call on the services of an experienced plumber to resolve the issue.
- If you have concerns about a leak external to the shut-off valve, contact the PVWA at 724-628-2930.