Finding a Leak

Finding a leak can be difficult.  Leaks are not always as obvious as we would expect.  Most often, if the leak is metering (higher usage than normal showing on your meter), the leak is on the customer’s portion of the line (pipe, hydrants, etc. after the meter).  Below are some tips & tricks you may want to try to help you identify the leak:

1. Sign up for your free EyeOnWater account and download the instructions to set up a leak alert.

2. Try to isolate the leak. This may be easiest to do overnight or during the day when no one is home.

Many people have a valve right where the water comes into the house and/or valves to outside lines. By turning these valves off and on one at a time, you can narrow down where your leak is. For example, if you have a valve in the basement that controls the water to your outside lines (hydrants, waterers, or an out building), you can turn that valve off before bed or for an hour or two during the day, and then turn it back on. You can view your usage on EyeOnWater or call the office to find out your usage. If the leak stopped during the time the valve was off, that would indicate that the leak is on an outside line. If the leak didn’t stop during that time, that would indicate that the leak is before the valve.

3. Toilets are often a culprit for unexpected water usage.  A leak on a toilet can result in up to 16,000 gallons per month extra on your water bill if the leak is severe enough.  To check for toilet leaks, you need only one item… food coloring.   Lift the tank lid of your toilet and put several drops of food coloring in the tank.  Do NOT flush the toilet.  Wait approximately 10 minutes and look for the food coloring to appear in the bowl of the toilet.  If it does, the toilet may have a leaking seal.

4.  Water softeners often can cause abnormal jumps in water usage.  Most water softeners are set to “cycle” at certain intervals set by you or your water softener specialist.  In some cases, these settings can be disrupted/changed, causing your water softener to cycle more often.  Thus using more water than normal.  Check your water softener panel to see how often it is cycling and consult your softener specialist for recommended settings.

5.  Leaks outside of the home can also occur.  Often these leaks are on underground lines, outdoor hydrants, or livestock waterers.  To check your hydrants and the underground lines to the hydrants, grab a fiberglass handled screwdriver.  Place the metal tip of the screwdriver to the head of the hydrant the put your ear to the fiberglass handle.  If there is water moving (possible leak) underground, you will hear a quiet hissing or vibrating sound.

Use our Be a Leak Seeker form to estimate what your daily or monthly water usage should be.

If you’re sure that you have a leak and have tried the above tips & tricks of the trade without success, please call Kingbrook Rural Water or your plumber to receive additional assistance.

If you have an emergency situation please call the office at (605) 983-5074!

Leave a Reply