Is your water bill higher than it should be? Toilet leaks may be silent, but account for about 95% of increased water use that shows up on bills. How to tell if you have a leak in your plumbing:
- Turn off all the water inside and outside the house, including showers, sinks, washing machines, and anything else that uses fresh water.
- Take the lid off the water meter box. Be careful – lids can be heavy and bugs or small animals can hide inside.
- Watch the meter. If the hand is moving, you have a leak. If the hand is not moving, note the position of the meter and check again in 10 minutes. If it moved, you have a slow leak. If it didn’t, no leak!
- Got a leak? For how to determine if the leak is inside or outside and tips on how to fix it, continue reading here.
Not only will fixing a leak save you money on future water bills, but you may receive a partial refund on your previous water bills if you discover a leak and then fix it? Contact your water department for more information. I think this is a very fair way to help encourage water conservation. You must usually take action soon after finding out about the leak and prove that they were fixed.
It is not uncommon to find toilets leaking much more water than the average 22 gallons. Silent toilets leaks can account for up to 300 gallons of day of lost water without anybody noticing the leakage. This size of leak costs over $500 dollars a year and should be repaired immediately.
To check your toilet for leaks:
1. Lift off the toilet tank lid. Without flushing, place 2 dye tablets (or 10 drops of food coloring) in the toilet tank.
2. If water in the bowl turns color within 10 minutes, you have a toilet leak.
Stormwater Management Discounts
You may also get a separate discount on your water bill by redirecting stormwater runoff away from drains and towards lawn areas or rain barrels. This allows the stormwater to be filtered naturally through soil and vegetation instead of going straight into the sewer system.
I recently fixed a bunch of leaky faucets in our house, but since I’m only billed quarterly for water I’m not sure how much money I saved yet. I’m sure it was more than the cost of a new washer!
The preceding was taken from a brochure by my local water bureau.
I don’t have a leak!
Here’s a picture of my water meter, and the leak indicator which was not moving (click on it to enlarge). I also came back and checked 10 minutes later, and it still stayed the same. I was also happy to see that the meter reading was consistent with the readings from my water bill.