A leak that drips once per second wastes more than 250 gallons of water each month. A silent toilet leak wastes between 50 and 500 gallons of water per day, and leaky pipes can waste hundreds of gallons of water, as well as destroy valuable property and increase your water bill. Save money and the stress of water leaks by preventing, finding, and fixing leaks with these five tips:
- Locate Your Emergency Shutoff Valve
- Be the Leak Detective:
- Read your utility bill – Check your water bill for unusually high use. There’s a good chance you might have a leak or break in a water pipe.
- Check your water meter – If you suspect a water leak, one of the best ways to confirm is to check your meter.
- Turn off all faucets and water using appliances.
- Record the meter reading.
- Do not use water for approximately an hour.
- Record the meter reading again.
- If the meter reading is not the same, you have a Leak.
- Use your eyes and ears – Listen for toilets that are running and faucets that drip. For outside leaks try to find soggy areas or areas where water is flowing. Some water leaks can be hard to detect because they occur in underground pipes. If there is no explanation for an increase in your water bill, then it’s possible you have a hidden leak.
- Fix Leaky Faucets and Toilets As Soon As Possible:
- Faucets – Most faucet leaks can be fixed by simply replacing the washer.
- Toilets – Depending on where the leak is , you may be able to fix it yourself, or you may need to call a plumber for repair.
- Take the lid off the tank, flush and watch. The water level should come up to about 1 inch below the overflow tube. If it comes up higher, it is easy for water to continuously overflow and run down the drain.
- Check to see if you have a leak in or around the flapper or ball valve at the bottom of the tank. You can do this by putting a little food coloring in the tank. Don’t flush and wait to see if any color appears in the bowl. If the color does appear then this is an indication that you have a leak.
- Prevent Frozen Pipes:
- Insulate pipes and valves – Wrap pipes exposed to freezing temperatures with pipe insulation. This includes pipes located outdoors, in attics, crawl space, basements, and garages.
- Turn off hose bibs and valves – Shut off and drain outside faucets to prevent freezing. Turn off the individual shutoff valves and open hose bibs to drain faucets.
- Circulate air – If there will be a deep freeze, open doors inside the house allowing warm air to circulate. Keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 °F while away from home.
- Drain outdoor water lines – Irrigation systems and water features need to be drained in autumn.
- What to do if pipes are frozen: Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Open faucet – You will want to open a faucet in the home to prevent pressure build-up from the pipes being frozen. Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Heat – Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Verify – Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
If you can not locate the frozen pipe(s), open the faucet to relieve pressure and then turn off the main shut off valve and contact a licensed Plumber immediately.
Call Before You Dig !!
Tate Monroe Water Assn., Inc. is a member of the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS). Please call 1-800-362-2764 (www.oups.org) before doing any digging, so underground utilities can be marked. We will be notified by computer printout. Contact with underground utilities can be dangerous as well as costly.
The Ohio Revised Code states that you are responsible for calling OUPS 48 hours, but no more than 10 days, before digging. This excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
The following information will be required by OUPS:
Location of Work (street address)
Distance from Intersection and Direction
Extent of Work Front/Rear/Both Sides
Date of Excavation
Start Time of Excavation
Type of Work
Contact Person/Additional Information
Non-Member Utilities Must Be Notified Individually
OUPS Locate Work Order