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Fix Water Leaks

 

Annual household leaks waste 1 trillion gallons nationwide, which is equal to water use in more than 11 million homes! Use the tips below to find out if you have leaks in your home. Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. 

 

Have you done all that you can to try to eliminate leaks from your home but still can't nip that drip in the bud? It might be time to replace your leaking fixtures. The plumbers at South East Total Service are fully licensed and insured, serving Chattanooga and the surrounding areas with all phases of plumbing service.

 

Identify and Fix Water Leaks:

 

Finding water leaks can save you water, which means saving money on water and sewer bills. Follow these easy steps to determine if you have a leak your home.

  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
     
  • A common reason why toilets will leak is an old or worn–out toilet flapper (e.g., valve seal). Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water woes.
  • If you have an in–ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged by frost or freezing.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

  • Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help tame unruly leaks. For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact a licensed plumber.

 

 

 

Complete Guide To Check For Water Leaks In Your Home:

 

 

Step 1.
First, locate your meter box. It is generally located near the sidewalk in front of your home in a direct line with the main outside faucet. It’s important to make sure the meter box lid is uncovered and visible at all times. A black circular disc on the lid provides the signal to the meter reader with an electronic signal - a ‘radio read.’
Step 2.
Turn all water-using appliances off so that no water is being used. This means turning off all water inside and outside the house including showers, sinks, washing machines, ice makers and any appliance that uses water. If you have an automatic irrigation system, turn off the controller.
Carefully remove the meter box lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Stand back. There are sometimes ‘critters’ inside the box that will be startled when the lid is removed. Give them a chance to get out of the way.
The meter uses a straight-reading dial which is read similar to a car’s odometer. The meter measures water use in thousands of gallons.
The small pointer or dial near the center of the meter is the flow indicator and should not move if you are not using any water inside or outside the home. If the flow indicator is moving, you may have a leak.
Leaky flapper
In leaky toilets, the flapper valve often needs to be replaced.
Step 3.
If there is no indicator and the actual meter dial hand is moving, water is running somewhere in your system and you have a leak – go to step 4.
If the hand is not moving, note the position of the hand and wait 10 minutes. Check the meter again, if it has moved, you have a slow leak - go to step 4.
If no movement is recorded, you probably don’t have a leak. The meter may not be able to detect leaks in irrigation systems or pools.
Step. 4.
To isolate the leak, turn the water off to your house. Your home’s valve is usually located under the outside faucet near the front of the house. With all water turned off in the house, there should be no movement of the small pointer or any of the dials on the meter.
Step 5.
If the leak indicator or dial is still moving, water is flowing between the meter and the shut-off valve. That means you could have a leak between the meter and the valve where water enters your home. This is called the ‘service line’.
Consider that movement in your meter can also be caused by things like an automatic pool filler, a leaky irrigation valve, or an evaporative cooler. Follow this link for more information on leaks in pools.
toilet tank
Figure 1.Step 6.
Check your irrigation system. If you have leaks in your irrigation system, they may not be noticeable unless your system is running. Turn your controller on manually and walk your property looking for broken sprinkler heads, missing emitters (which will produce small streams of water) or breaks in irrigation piping or tubing. Check for leaks inside the house including toilets, washing machines, faucets, etc.
Step 7.
To check a toilet for a leak: Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to the water in the reservoir or tank (as shown in Figure 1). Wait 15-30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, the rubber flapper needs to be replaced. In leaky toilets, the flapper valve often needs to be replaced.
Step 8.
Congratulate yourself! You’ve just completed a leak-detection investigation.

Step 1.

First, locate your meter box. It is generally located near the sidewalk in front of your home in a direct line with the main outside faucet. It’s important to make sure the meter box lid is uncovered and visible at all times. A black circular disc on the lid provides the signal to the meter reader with an electronic signal - a ‘radio read.’

 

Step 2.

Turn all water-using appliances off so that no water is being used. This means turning off all water inside and outside the house including showers, sinks, washing machines, ice makers and any appliance that uses water. If you have an automatic irrigation system, turn off the controller.

 

Carefully remove the meter box lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Stand back. There are sometimes ‘critters’ inside the box that will be startled when the lid is removed. Give them a chance to get out of the way.

 

The meter uses a straight-reading dial which is read similar to a car’s odometer. The meter measures water use in thousands of gallons.

 

The small pointer or dial near the center of the meter is the flow indicator and should not move if you are not using any water inside or outside the home. If the flow indicator is moving, you may have a leak.

 

water-leak-toilet-1.jpg

In leaky toilets, the flapper valve often needs to be replaced.

 

Step 3.

 

If there is no indicator and the actual meter dial hand is moving, water is running somewhere in your system and you have a leak – go to step 4.

If the hand is not moving, note the position of the hand and wait 10 minutes. Check the meter again, if it has moved, you have a slow leak - go to step 4.

If no movement is recorded, you probably don’t have a leak. The meter may not be able to detect leaks in irrigation systems or pools.

 

Step 4.

 

To isolate the leak, turn the water off to your house. Your home’s valve is usually located under the outside faucet near the front of the house. With all water turned off in the house, there should be no movement of the small pointer or any of the dials on the meter.

 

Step 5.

If the leak indicator or dial is still moving, water is flowing between the meter and the shut-off valve. That means you could have a leak between the meter and the valve where water enters your home. This is called the ‘service line’.

 

Consider that movement in your meter can also be caused by things like an automatic pool filler, a leaky irrigation valve, or an evaporative cooler. Follow this link for more information on leaks in pools.

 

water-leak-toilet-2.jpg

Figure 1.

 

Step 6.

 

Check your irrigation system. If you have leaks in your irrigation system, they may not be noticeable unless your system is running. Turn your controller on manually and walk your property looking for broken sprinkler heads, missing emitters (which will produce small streams of water) or breaks in irrigation piping or tubing. Check for leaks inside the house including toilets, washing machines, faucets, etc.

 

Step 7.

 

To check a toilet for a leak: Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to the water in the reservoir or tank (as shown in Figure 1). Wait 15-30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, the rubber flapper needs to be replaced. In leaky toilets, the flapper valve often needs to be replaced.

 

Step 8.

 

Congratulate yourself! You’ve just completed a leak-detection investigation.

 

 

If you need to fix a leak, call South East Total Service today to reach one of our highly trained and skilled technicians!

 

 

423-499-2911

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