Checking for Water Leaks
The most important water saving tip is to regularly check for leaks around your home. A leaking toilet or faucet can cost you hundreds of dollars a year. Your water meter is the most important device in your home to check for water leaks. To see if you have a water leak:
- Turn off all taps around your home and automatic water softeners, humidifiers, sprinkler systems, etc.
- Ask everyone to avoid using water (ie. going to the washroom or turning on a tap) for the next 15 minutes.
- Locate your water meter, which is usually in the basement, near an outside wall.
- Note the meter reading and position of the red “low flow” indicator.
- Wait 15 minutes.
- If the red “low flow” indicator has moved, or there are new numbers displayed when you read your meter, you have a leak somewhere inside your home or from your outdoor water taps or underground sprinkler system.
- The most common area for water leaks is your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and outdoors.
- Take the lid off the tank.
- Squirt a drop of dark food colouring into the water.
- DO NOT FLUSH THE TOILET for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Check the toilet bowl for coloured water; if present, your toilet is leaking.
- If taps are dripping, replace the washer in the faucet.
- If there are damp areas around your faucet or water lines this might indicate that a leak is present.
- If the taps are dripping, replace the washer in the faucet.
- If there are damp areas around your faucet or water lines to your dishwasher or fridge this might indicate that a leak is present.
- If the taps leading to your washing machine are dripping, replace the washer in the faucet.
- Ensure your water softener has enough salt in it; the softener may keep trying to ‘regenerate’ the brine when there is no salt, resulting in wasted water.
- Fix any leaks in your garden hose.
- Replace worn out washers in garden nozzles and sprinklers.
- Check for moist spots in your lawn on days you have not watered; constantly damp grass may indicate a leak in your underground sprinkler.