Leaks on your internal plumbing system, outdoor sprinkler, and service line aren't always obvious and can lead to substantial water bills. Many leaks are simple fixes, while others may require a plumber.
WaterOne is responsible for repairing leaks on water meters and public water mains. Internal leaks, sprinkler leaks, and leaks on the customer's service line - running between the service connection and the building - are the homeowner's responsibility. This includes all pipes between the service connection and the structure, irrigation systems, and indoor plumbing.
To help you determine what may have caused your higher-than-normal water usage, check your daily water usage data in Usage & Services. In Usage & Services, you can:
- View Daily Water Usage: With the Connect "view usage details" feature, you can get a detailed look at your water usage data.
- Set Water Usage Alerts: Also using the Connect "View usage details" feature, you can set up water usage alerts. It's easy!
Leak Detection Tips
Toilets are the most common culprit for leaks. Don't ignore a running toilet or put off repairs. Leaks in toilets can waste up to 1,400 to 2,800 gallons of water per day, depending on the age of the toilet and severity of the leak.
Three types of toilet leaks:
- Fill device. Water overflows and runs into the plastic tube. This leak should be obvious if you remove the lid and listen for sound on the left side of the tank.
- Phantom flush. Bad flappers are the Number 1 cause of this leak. This leak is often hard to detect as the water does not run all the day. Periodically, the toilet will quietly flush itself when the water in the tank gets low.
- Bad seal between floor and toilet base. If you have a room below the bathroom, this leak, if not corrected, will eventually cause damage to the ceiling or floorboards if the room is not finished.
Check Your Toilets for Leaks
Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that is wasting many gallons of water a day. Replace the rubber flapper if it is causing the leak.
Faucet leaks are usually caused by worn washers or O rings. Check your faucet washer periodically to detect early signs of deterioration. Estimate your leak.
Leaks in an irrigation system can occur in several places. Most leaks occur because a valve fails to shut completely, but leaks in system pipes are not unheard of. Broken heads are not technically a "leak" because the water provides benefit to your lawn. However, excess water coming from a broken head when the system is operating is unexpected.
Underground sprinkler systems require maintenance and observation during the irrigation season. Walk through your yard biweekly in order to catch leaks early. Indications of leakage include overgrown or particularly green areas of turf, soggy areas around spray heads and aboveground hoses, jammed spray heads, and torn hoses. In drip systems, leakage problems may be the result of tubing or tape that have been damaged by foot traffic or gnawing and chewing animals.
To detect a leak in your irrigation system, you must shut down all water use inside your home and be fairly certain that there is no leakage occurring indoors. Once you have done this, you can use your water meter to see if any water continues to flow into your system. Irrigation companies and plumbers have the tool needed to open the pit lid to the water meter.
Irrigation system leaks can vary in size and intensity depending on the location and water pressure. If your system develops a large leak in a pipe or valve, you will probably find out about it fairly quickly. Your lawn will be soggy or the ground around the leaking pipe will be soft and muddy.
Small and slow leaks are much more difficult to detect and pinpoint. You will probably need to use the leak detector wheel on your water meter to determine if any water is flowing. If you do have a slow leak, tracking it down within your sprinkler system may also take some effort. A leaking valve will often result in a flooded valve box or at least a very wet valve box. A slow leak in a piece of pipe may require the services of a professional leak detection firm to locate.
Check for leaking water, particularly during the summer watering season. A hose left dribbling in the grass or garden can waste thousands of gallons of water during the course of the summer. Close outside faucets tightly every time you shut off the water.
Telltale signs of a leak are water running down the road, a soggy patch of grass, or a green patch of grass when the surrounding sod is parched.
If you'd like more information on water service line warranty coverage, check out HomeServe as a low-cost option for all WaterOne customers.
To report a leak to a water meter or water main, contact Customer Service at 913-895-1800.