Tips on Finding a Water Leak
Water leaks are costly and wasteful. A slow drip can waste more than 10 gallons of water per day.
The customer is responsible for leaks from the meter to the house, including all plumbing inside the house. The city will maintain the water meter and meter box. It is the customer’s responsibility to keep the meter accessible from vegetation and fences.
The City does not check on private property for water leaks; however, if abnormal increases in water usage are noted, we may, as a courtesy, send you a letter to alert you of a possible leak. If you discover a leak, you may qualify for an adjustment to your bill.
Below is a list of several things you can check if you suspect you have a water leak.
- It is easiest to start checking with your toilets. Toilets are a common cause for leaks in your home. If your toilet runs after you flush it, you should get it repaired immediately. Toilets can also have silent leaks. In order to test for a silent leak, put food coloring in the tank at the back of the toilet. If the color shows up in the bowl without you flushing, it means that the water is leaking around the bottom flap in the tank. Both of these problems are reasonably cheap to repair if you fix them yourself and will save you money on your water bill
- If your toilets are not the problem, you should check around your home for dripping faucets, pipes and leaks around your hot water tank.
- To check to see if you have a leak in the underground line between the house and the meter, you first need to find the main shut-off valve for your home. This is often near an outside faucet. Turn the water off. Also turn off all faucets, outlets and water-using appliances. Go out and look at the dial on your water meter. If the dial on the water meter is moving (watch it for at least 10 minutes), it means there is water running through the meter. If the water is running through the meter and the water valve is shut off, this indicates there is a leak in the line. Call us (253) 851-6157 if you do not know where your meter is, we can have the public works staff assist you in finding it.
- If you did not find a leak in the underground line, try turning the main valve back on and watch the meter again. If the meter moves this means that water is running in the house somewhere. If no one is using water, this can indicate you have a leak in the house.