Checking Water Leaks

Water leaks can be costly to a homeowner and can create additional wastewater that must be treated at the wastewater or sewage treatment plant. Your eyes or ears can easily see or hear some leaks, but the best way to find a leak is to use your home’s water meter.

To check to see if you may have a water leak in your home, inside or outside, first turn off every water-using device. Do not turn off the main water shut off by the meter, because you will need water to run to the various devices in your home to see if they leak. Don’t forget that ice-making refrigerators and water softeners use water. Next, check the low-flow indicator. If it is moving, you have a leak.
Locating a Leak
To locate a leak, first check all faucets and showerheads to ensure that they are not leaking and be sure to include any outside taps. If no leak is discovered, check under counter tops and sinks to see if there is any moisture and inspect all fittings and valves. Most leaky faucets can be fixed inexpensively by replacing worn washers.
Checking Toilets for Leaks
Next, check your toilets for leaks. It is not uncommon to find toilets leaking much more water than the average 22 gallons. Silent toilets leaks can account for up to 300 gallons a day of lost water without anybody noticing the leakage. This size of leak costs over $500 dollars a year and should be repaired immediately.

Turning off the supply valve to each toilet one at a time and checking the meter to see if the low-flow indicator stopped moving can identify the leaky toilet. Another method of checking for toilet leaks is to place dye tablets or 15 drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait fifteen to twenty minutes and check the toilet bowl. If there is a color in the bowl, you have a leak from the tank to the bowl. This is fairly common and usually indicates a worn flapper valve, which is inexpensive to repair. Another common leak in a toilet can be water running into the overflow tube. This is easy to fix by gently bending the float arm to lower the water level. Remember when in doubt, check with a professional plumber.

Checking Appliances

Next check your washing machine, dishwasher, hot water tank, refrigerator and any other water using devices for leaks. Look around the floor for moist areas and check all water connecting valves and fittings. If you are still unable to locate a leak, but your low-flow indicator keeps moving, note your odometer reading and leave everything off for at least two hours and then check to see if the odometer reading changed. After this thorough check, the leak indicator is still moving, it is possibly a leak inside your walls or underground, which could lead to expensive repairs and/or mold and health problems. It is advised to hire a professional plumber.

Reporting a Leak

If you do find a leak on your property the City of Miramar can help alleviate the cost of the wasted sewer by giving one leak adjustment per calendar year for up to three months service, if applicable. The customer must provide a copy of receipt for the repair to the Utility Billing Division for review and if approved, we will then use an average from the months prior to the problem to calculate the adjusted amount on only the sewer charges.  The receipt  should include what was repaired, location and date of the repair.