A Plumbers Guide to Detecting Leaks with Your Water Meter

Posted Apr 5, 2017

When you notice a leak in your home, you fix it right away, but what happens when you don’t notice a leak for days or even weeks? The damage it causes can have a profound impact on your water bill and the good repair of your home. To avoid hidden leaks – the ones that hide in your walls or your yard, keep a close eye on your water meter.

The Hidden Leaks
Obvious leaks are…well, they’re obvious. They pour water down the walls, leave puddles in your bathroom or create ponds in your backyard. Unfortunately, the majority of leaks are much less obvious. They result from small drips between pipe joints in your walls or a hairline fracture in your water main or drain pipes. They may not even appear where you can see them.

If this happens, it’s important to have a keen eye for the signs that a water leak has occurred. Specifically, look for jumps in your water meter readings.

Watching the Water Meter
Your water meter tracks every drop of water consumed by your family. To check for water loss, record the reading at the same time every day and watch how it changes. To be sure of a leak, you can turn off all the fixtures in your home and watch for the meter to move. If the meter moves despite the fact that no one in your home is consuming any water, it is likely a leak.

You can also compare your bills from one month to the next. If your bill rises suddenly, without any clear reason, check the meter readings and the rates. If the meter reading increased suddenly and the water rate did not, there might be a leak to blame. If that’s the case, call a professional to inspect your water lines immediately – what is hidden to you might be a relatively obvious, straightforward repair to someone else.

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