Can Your Water Meter Help You Detect a Leak?
Have you found yourself struggling with or questioning higher-than-normal water bills? It’s natural to expect costs to fluctuate from month to month. But if you find this utility bill skyrocketing with no obvious explanation, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on with your plumbing in Raleigh & Durham, NC.
Even the seemingly smallest plumbing leaks can significantly impact your water bills over time. In fact, according to the United States EPA’s WaterSense website, if a faucet were leaking at one drop per second, you’d be wasting 3,000 gallons of water per year! Of course, we don’t you’d let a faucet go on leaking for that long just because of the nuisance noise it makes! But, what if there’s a small, dripping leak hidden behind a wall that you don’t know about?
Well the good news is, there is a way to test your plumbing system for leaks by observing changes in your water meter, even if you don’t actually see or hear a leak occurring. Follow these steps, and if they indicate a leak, contact our team for professional leak detection services so we can accurately pinpoint the source and properly repair it.
Shut Off the Water
The first step to take is to shut off all of the water throughout your home. We don’t recommend using the main-shut off valve, as this won’t help you find a leak. Rather, you’ll have to do a thorough check throughout your home that anything that uses water is completely off—your dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator’s icemaker, your water filter if you have one, and your irrigation system are common ones that people miss.
Make sure to let your household in on the plan so they don’t accidentally turn something on when you’re performing this task.
Next, Read Your Water Meter
Now it’s time to check the water meter to see if there’s a flow indicator. That is, a small rotating dial that moves even if there is only a tiny amount of water flowing. If all your water is off and that wheel is moving, you have a leak somewhere along your plumbing system.
However, this doesn’t tell you how much water is leaving your system. To find out whether it is an excessive amount, or if you don’t have a flow indicator, then you’ll have to wait a bit. Go ahead and write down the number you read on the dial, or use permanent marker to track it. Then, check it after an hour. The difference is read in either gallons or cubic feet. You can convert cubic feet to gallons by multiplying the number by 7.48, and this tells you how much your plumbing system is leaking per hour.
Time to Call in a Pro!
As we mentioned above, you’ll need an experienced plumber to determine where exactly your leak is coming from, if it is not visible. From there, we can properly repair it. Of course, you’ll have to call for leak detection services whether you run the above test or not, if you do in fact have a leak—so don’t hesitate to reach out for advice or questions if you find the steps too much work.