When you have a hidden leak, it can be hard to realize anything is wrong until water damage appears. By then, you may need a lot of major repairs. While you can spot hidden leaks a few different ways, one easy solution is to check your water meter. Your water meter measures every drop of water your home uses. So you can use it to see if unchecked water is being used or leaked in or around your home.
If you think you have a leak and want to verify it before you call for help, check out these simple steps.
Don't Use Any Water for a Period of Time
The water meter measures any water used inside or outside the home, which causes the meter to increase as the month passes. As a result, you can use the water meter to check for leaks, and it only takes a few steps.
First, don't let anyone use any water. Next, check the water meter and make note of its reading. Continue to not use any water for a few hours so you can be sure any water consumption is from a leak and not a flushing toilet or washing machine, then check the meter again. If it moved, you can be sure of a leak.
Unfortunately, you can't locate the exact leak, but you can use the water meter to determine if the leak is inside or outside the home.
Locate the Water Shut Off Valve
Once a leak has been confirmed, use your water meter and main shut off water valves to determine if the leak is inside the home. Doing this before contacting a plumber can help save a bit of time and money because the plumber will better know where to look for the leak immediately.
Start by finding the water shut off valve that is close to your home, not the one by the street. The valve by the street fully stops any water from entering your property, and this should only be used in an emergency (such as a busted main water valve flooding your yard).
The valve located by your home will only stop water from entering the home. Water outside the home can still be used, allowing you to see if the leak is inside the house. Do the same thing you did to check for a leak. Don't let anyone use the water for a period of time and then see if the water meter has moved. If it has, the leak is outside the home. If the reading is the same, the leak is inside the home.
Once you've successfully located the leak, it will be much faster for a plumber to correct the problem. However, depending on how long the pipe has been leaking (and how severe), there may be underlying water damage to drywall, wood, electrical components, etc. These will need to be corrected to prevent future complications such as a fire from wet wires and mold growth.
Nobody wants to deal with a leaking pipe. Not only do they waste water and lots of money, but they can cause major water damage. Some leaks are out in the open, but for hidden leaks, you may need to rely on your water meter to decide if there is an actual leak. You can even tell if the leak is inside or outside the home by using the water meter and shut off valves.
If you would like to know more about how to use your water meter, or if you need to have a leaky pipe repaired, contact us at Dignity Plumbing today.