South Florida Residents - How To Check Your Home For Water Leaks

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Does your water bill seem a little too high?  Do you hear your toilets running or hissing? Small, slow water leaks may be to blame. They may not seem like a major issue; however, they can cost you money over time and can cause preventable damage.  Believe it or not, a small leak the size of a pencil point can allow up to 6,000 gallons of water per month to be lost. The most common water leaks usually occur in toilets or leaky faucets and can be easily identified and often times fixed if you take the time.

Finding a Leak:

Check your toilets first by removing the tank lid and listening for any running/hissing noises.  If you do hear noise, there is a leak. If not try this simple trick to double check.  Put a few drops of food coloring in tank and wait 15 minutes. If you can see any color appear in the bowl of the toilet, you have a leak.

If your toilets seem fine, but you still suspect a leak, it’s time to check your water meter. First make sure all of the water in the house is turned off and head outside.  Locate the water meter box, remove the lid, and watch the meter for any movement. If it is turning, you have a leak.  If not, note the position of the hand and check back in 10 minutes.  If there has been any movement after that time you have a slow leak and need to locate and turn off the main shut-off valve. (Now flush so the coloring won’t stain your toilet!)

Once that has been shut off, if the meter has stopped moving, the leak is somewhere in your home.

Fixing the Simple Leak

Toilets:   If you have found a leak in your toilet a worn out flapper in the tank is most likely to blame.  Remove the old flapper and bring it with you to your local hardware store where you can purchase the correct new replacement.

Faucets:  Leaky faucets are usually caused by worn out washers or gaskets. Check these (usually under the handles) and replace if necessary.

If you do not feel comfortable attempting to fix the leak, can’t find the exact location or if the job is too big for a DO It Yourself project call a professional. Even if you can’t fix the problem yourself, plumbers often appreciate you locating the general area of the problem, saving them time and you money!

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