How do I check for a leak?
- Make sure no water is being used inside or outside the house.
- Locate your water meter. It is usually found in the ground near the end of your driveway between your house and your neighbor's house. If you have any trouble locating or reading your meter, contact us and we will assist.
- Check and record the current meter reading. Wait about 30 minutes, although overnight is better. REMEMBER - do not use any water while you are waiting - this includes toilet flushing and ice maker refills.
- Read the water meter again. If the reading has changed, then you have a leak that requires immediate attention. There is also a sweeping hand or triangle on many meters which moves when water is flowing though the meter. If this hand/triangle is moving in only one direction when no one is using water, it is a good indication there is a leak.
- Locate the home's main shutoff valve and shut of the water at that valve (normally located in the basement or garage, directly behind an outdoor faucet; or outside, below an outdoor faucet). Repeat steps 3 & 4. If the reading has changes, you have leak in the underground water pipe between the meter and the house. If the reading is the same, there is a leak inside the home.
How can I locate a leak?
The sound of running water helps. If you hear it, follow it to its source. If water is staining the ceiling or dripping down, the leak is probably directly above. Occasionally, water may travel along a joist and then stain or drip at a point some distance from the leak. Any wall stain is likely to be below the actual location of the leak and you'll probable need to remove part of the wall to find it. Without the sound of running water and without drips or stains as evidence, leaks are more difficult to find. Using a flashlight, check all the pipes in the basement or in the crawl space. Most outside leaks occur at connections. One is at the meter and the other is near the point where the line enters the home or building. Sometimes the line leaks between these connections. Look for a wet or soft spot in you landscaping or near the driveway.
Should I hire a plumber or do the work myself?
You can save a lot on the cost of a plumbing job if you do it yourself. But is it worth it? Clearly, changing a 15-cent faucet washer yourself beats paying a plumber for a $75 service call. In other situations, the choice may not be as clear. Before you tackle the large jobs yourself, consider the following:
- Tools and equipment to complete the job.
- Building codes and permits.
- Your skills and experience.
- Cost of materials.