Water leaks are often difficult to detect. Even a small crack could leak thousands of gallons of water over time – potentially costing the homeowner thousands in repair costs and high water bills. With a little detective work a homeowner can determine if there is a problem and be prepared to inform the plumber about the issues. How can you detect a water leak?
Symptoms of a Leak
- An inexplicable rumbling or gurgling sound (usually heard at night when it’s most quiet)
- Water is bubbling up or pooling in your yard or in the street bordering your property
- Poor or low water pressure
- A commode that continues to run even though it hasn’t been used
- Water bill has increased substantially and your household has not used more water than usual
- Starting to see cracks in your home’s foundation or concrete / pavement in the basement floor
- A foul odor near water drains or sewer line
- Walls or floors feel moist or are discolored where no water has spilled
Is the Leak Inside or Outside my Home?
The best way to determine if the leak is inside or outside your home is through the water meter, which the public utility reads every month to prepare your water bill. Most water meters in single-family dwellings are located in the front yard. If you lift the meter face, you will find a dial, much like a car’s odometer. The numbers on the dial provide the water reading, which is measured in units of “thousands of gallons.”
Before checking the meter, turn off all water-consuming appliances inside and outside. Wait a few minutes and if the numbers on the meter dial are turning, water is flowing. Next, find the turn-on valve usually attached to the spigot in the front yard. Turn the valve counterclockwise. If the numbers on the dial continue moving, there is probably a leak in the front yard between the house and meter. If you have a Service Line Warranties of America water line warranty and believe the leak to be in the yard, please call us to report the leak.
Ignoring a leak could result in a breeding ground for mold, which can have an impact on your family’s health. An undetected leak could cause property damage and will increase your water bill costs. A slow drip leak can increase water usage by as much as 5,000 extra gallons a month and a steady, slow stream by as much as 21,000.
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