Detecting Leaks



S  High readings may result from company, watering, pool filling, etc.  If these do not apply, then you need to check for leaks.  It is important it is done immediately as the water being lost is registering on your meter which will result in a higher water/sewer bill.

S  CHECK THOSE TOILETS!  Toilets are a good place to start as they can be silent, intermittent and will use a lot of water–up to 1,000 gal per day.  To test your toilet: put food coloring into the tank (10-12 drops), DO NOT FLUSH, wait 15-30 minutes and look into the bowl.  If ANY color is in the bowl you have a leaking trip seal and repairs are in order.

S  Check your faucets - inside and out.  Replacing the rubber O-ring or washer inside the valve will usually stop a dripping faucet.  A dripping faucet at the rate of one drip per second can use over 2,700 gallons a year.


 1.      Turn off all the water in your house.  Make sure that toilets, the ice maker and water heater are not filling.
2.      Look at your meter.  If the dial is moving you have a leak.  Check all of your toilets and faucets.

If the dial is not moving, and if you DO NOT have a booster pump and pressure tank, write down the reading and wait about 15 minutes – DO NOT USE ANY WATER.

Look at the meter again to see if any water went through it.  If no water went through it, you probably do not have a leak.  However, waiting longer between the readings will help determine if there is a slow or intermittent leak.
5.      If you DO have a booster pump and pressure tank:  with the water turned off at the house, monitor the pressure gauge on the tank.  If it goes down, you have a leak.  Be sure to turn off the pump power at the breaker box to keep it from running and burning out.
6.      To help determine where a leak is located you may want to try turning off toilets one by one and checking the meter or tank pressure after each one.

To check for an outside leak, turn off the master valve where the water enters the house and check the meter or pressure gauge as described above.  If you do not have a master valve, you can turn off everything inside your house including the toilets. 

If you have a water leak, you may be eligible for a credit. You must have the leak and repair verified by the PSA staff to qualify.  Please contact the office at 540-463-4329 for more details and to request verification of the leak/repair.