Are You LEAKING? Take Five Minutes to Find Out
Leaks Can Waste a Lot of Water!
Banka Doiton 2019A small leak quickly adds up to a lot of wasted water. Toilets can silently leak 150 gallons a day, or 55,000 gallons a year. A pipe leak the size of this letter L can waste a million gallons a year!
Using Your Water Meter to Check for Leaks is Quick and Easy:
- Turn off all the water uses in your house (faucets, dishwasher, laundry, water softener, irrigation system, fountain) and grab a screwdriver.
- Find your water meter. It is in front of your house in the grass near the sidewalk or street. The meter is in a small underground box. Look for a rectangular meter cover that could be made of cement, metal, or plastic.
- Lift the cover using the screwdriver or other tool.
- If there is more than one meter, see the section below to find which is yours.
- Lift the meter cap and look for the flow indicator. It could be a small dial, a triangle, or a wheel. If nothing is moving, there's no leak. If the flow indicator is spinning and all water uses are turned off, you have a leak.
- Close the meter cap to protect the lens, and carefully replace the meter cover.
More than One Meter in the Meter Box?
- Either you have two meters, or one meter belongs to your neighbor.
- Do you have both an irrigation meter and a house meter? You would know from your water bill. Turn on your irrigation system to find out which is the irrigation meter.
- If you share a meter box with your neighbor and both meters are not moving, turn your water on to see which meter is yours. It may not be the one closest to your house.
- If you can't tell which meter is yours, find the meter numbers on the meter cap, call the billing office (407-665-2110) and they will confirm which is yours.
What to Do if You Have a Leak
A series of simple tests will identify the most common types of leaks.
- Double-check to see that all water was turned off. What about automatic refill usage such as the pool, fountain, water softener, automatic ice maker, and hot water heater?
- Is the leak indoors or outdoors? Find the master shutoff valve (B in the picture), usually on the outside of the house or in the garage. Turn the valve off, and if the flow indicator is still spinning, your leak is outdoors between the meter and the shutoff valve. Locate and repair underground leaks as soon as possible, because if left unchecked, they could cause property damage.
- If the leak is indoors, first check the toilets. Shut off all toilets using the valve at the wall behind the toilet, and check the flow indicator. If it stops spinning, at least one toilet is leaking. Turn them on one by one and check the flow indicator each time. More than one toilet could be leaking.
- Check other appliances, including water softener, water heater, swamp cooler, water-cooled air conditioner, and automatic ice maker. Almost all have bypass valves. Turn them off one by one, checking the meter between each.
- Turn off the master valve to the irrigation system and check the meter. This will identify a leak in the headworks of the irrigation system, but not in the distribution pipes or sprinkler heads.
- If none of these tests locates your leak, its time to call the plumber.
If you are happy with how much water you saved after fixing your leaks, let us know!