Have your water bills been higher than usual? If so, it is quite possible that you have a water leak somewhere in your home that you must find. Failure to find and repair the leak will result in high water bills and damage to your home. Below, you will find a few tips to pinpoint the location of the leaks before you call for professional help.
Test for Toilet Leaks
Toilets are a common cause of excess water use. There are two tests you can use to determine if the toilet is leaking.
Dye Test – Place a dye tablet in the toilet tank. Watch the toilet for a few minutes watching for the dye to begin drizzling into the toilet bowl. If you see the coloring leaking into the bowl, the flapper valve needs to be replaced. This test can be done using food coloring or even milk, but the plumbing test tablets are the best option as they don't require any clean up after the test is complete.
Flush Cycle Test – Determining if the water is leaking during the flush cycle is pretty easy. Simply tuck a few sheets of toilet paper between the tank and the bowl. If the toilet paper is wet before you flush, dry that area well and tuck a new piece of toilet paper in. Now, flush the toilet. If the toilet paper got wet after you flushed, there is a leak that is caused by the flushing and the toilet will need servicing.
Check Exterior Hose Bibs
Many water losses occur because of the exterior hose bibs. These fixtures degrade more quickly than interior fixtures, so replacement may be necessary. To test the bib, make sure that it is turned off fully. Dry the bib well and wrap it with a dry cloth. Wait a half hour or so and check the cloth. If the cloth is wet, you have a problem.
Examine the Water Heater
Your water heater tank has a valve on the top side of it. This is the pressure relief valve which is an important safety mechanism. The valve is meant to relieve pressure inside the tank before it reaches dangerous, explosive levels. Unfortunately, these valves can begin leaking after they get older. It is okay for water to come from the valve occasionally, but if you notice a steady drip coming from it, you need to call for service.
These are just three places to look for leaks. Also, check the more obvious issues, like leaking interior faucets and fixtures. If you cannot find any leak issues, contact a leak detection professional like Sunset Professional Plumbing Services Inc. to have him or her find the location of the leak before it costs you much more than a high water bill.