Leaks, whether unseen or unfixed, can waste hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water. It is important to routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, toilets, and outside taps and irrigation lines.
Toilet & Faucet Leaks
The most common cause for a high water bill is running water from your toilet. A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day. That can double a family’s typical water use, so fix toilet leaks as soon as possible. Some leaks are easy to find, such as a dripping faucet or running toilet. You can usually hear a running toilet, but not always.
Do-it-Yourself Toilet Assessment
First check for the most common leak: a deteriorated or defected flush valve (Flapper) ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If it does not make a tight seal water will leak into the toilet bowl. To check for this:
- Take the lid off the tank behind the bowl. Flush the toilet, then wait for it too fully refill.
- Put a few drops of dye, food dye, or a colored dye tablet (available at some hardware stores) in the tank
- Wait at least 20 minutes; longer if you suspect it is a small leak.
- If there is any color in the toilet bowl, there is a leak.
The second most common type of leak has to do with an improperly adjusted or broken fill *ballcock) valve. To check for this take the lid of the toilet tank, flush, and see if the water is draining into the overflow tubes when the tanks are full.
Outdoor & Underground leaks
Leaks can also occur in harder to find places, such as under your house or in the service line between your water meter and your home. Check outdoor spigots and crawl spaces, and look for wets posts in your yard, which may indicate a leak.
Customers with water softeners have hight water bills due to the regeneration or backwash cycles their systems go through. The systems are preset to regenerate or backwash on a regular basis. The systems will use water to clean the filter media and discharge the wastewater into the ground next to the system. There are times when these systems will get stuck in a cycle which will cause higher water use.