Checking for Water Leaks

The most important water saving tip is to regularly check for leaks around your home. A leaking toilet or faucet can cost you hundreds of dollars a year. Your water meter is the most important device in your home to check for water leaks. To see if you have a water leak:

  1. Turn off all taps around your home and automatic water softeners, humidifiers, sprinkler systems, etc. 
  2. Ask everyone to avoid using water (ie. going to the washroom or turning on a tap) for the next 15 minutes. 
  3. Locate your water meter, which is usually in the basement, near an outside wall. 
  4. Note the meter reading and position of the red “low flow” indicator. 
  5. Wait 15 minutes. 
  6. If the red “low flow” indicator has moved, or there are new numbers displayed when you read your meter, you have a leak somewhere inside your home or from your outdoor water taps or underground sprinkler system. 
  7. The most common area for water leaks is your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and outdoors.

Bathroom

Toilets

  • Take the lid off the tank. 
  • Squirt a drop of dark food colouring into the water. 
  • DO NOT FLUSH THE TOILET for 15 to 30 minutes. 
  • Check the toilet bowl for coloured water; if present, your toilet is leaking.

Taps

  • If taps are dripping, replace the washer in the faucet. 
  • If there are damp areas around your faucet or water lines this might indicate that a leak is present.

Kitchen

  • If the taps are dripping, replace the washer in the faucet. 
  • If there are damp areas around your faucet or water lines to your dishwasher or fridge this might indicate that a leak is present.

Laundry room

  • If the taps leading to your washing machine are dripping, replace the washer in the faucet. 
  • Ensure your water softener has enough salt in it; the softener may keep trying to ‘regenerate’ the brine when there is no salt, resulting in wasted water.

Outdoors

  • Fix any leaks in your garden hose. 
  • Replace worn out washers in garden nozzles and sprinklers. 
  • Check for moist spots in your lawn on days you have not watered; constantly damp grass may indicate a leak in your underground sprinkler.