208 East Main Street
Manchester, Iowa 52057
(563) 927-3636

I think I have a water leak!

Check the Water Meter
  1. Turn off all of your water inside and outside of your home, but leave your shutoff valve open.
  2. Locate your water meter (usually located in the basement or a crawl space).
  3. The meter will have a red dial or triangle on its face.
  4. If this is moving at all, and you are certain no water is running, you have a water leak.
Read the Water Meter
  1. Just before going to bed, or when no one will use any water for several hours, write down the numbers on the face of the water meter.
  2. Take another meter reading in the morning before any water is used, or after a few hours of non-usage.
  3. In theory, these two readings should be the same. If they are not, and you cannot account for use by a humidifier, ice cube maker, toilet flush, or water softener, you have a leak and further investigation is recommended.
Leak Sources

From our experience, ninety percent of the leaks in residential plumbing systems are found at the toilet tank. Generally, toilets leak at the bottom of the tank around the flapper plug or at the top of the tank at the overflow tube. Leaks typically result from worn parts or from misalignment of some part of the flushing mechanism.

Check the Toilet Flapper
  • Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank.
  • Watch the bowl for about 15 minutes.
  • If colored water appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
Check the Overflow Valve
  • Sparingly sprinkle powder on top of the water in the tank.
  • If the powder moves toward the overflow tube, you probably have an overflow leak.

Toilets are notorious for their silent leaks. A toilet that overflows just one gallon every five minutes will waste 288 gallons of water per day or 8,640 gallons per month. We recommend that each homeowner familiarize themselves with their home water system.

Other Leak Sources

It is possible to have water leaking in other places: sink faucets, water softeners, plumbing, water heaters, dishwashers…..anywhere water runs could be a potential source. If you are unable to locate a leak on your own, we always recommend contacting a licensed plumber.

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