As a homeowner, the last thing that you want to do is deal with a leak. Unfortunately, leaks can cause significant damage if they’re not treated properly. If you’re dealing with a potential water leak, we suggest following these steps immediately to help you save time and money.
1. Evaluate the Situation
First and foremost, identify the reason that you suspect there is a leak. Is it an increased water bill or possibly the emergence of water stains? At this stage, it’s important not to panic because we don’t yet know the scope of the damage (if any).
Some common maintenance problems can actually mimic the effects of a leak, making them even more difficult for homeowners to detect. Before jumping to conclusions, take a closer look at any locations where you’ve spotted moisture and note any significant issues. These details can be useful to a leak detection specialist later in the process.
2. Turn off Your Water & Check the Meter
Your water meter is the first place you should go when you suspect a leak! If you’re unsure where the meter is on your property, reach out to your local water utility company for more information. Once you’ve located the water meter, it’s time to close the main water supply shutoff valve. This will stop the flow of water to all appliances on your property.
Next, determine if your meter has a leak indicator. Leak indicators can vary in appearance, but typically it will be a wheel or a dial that moves to indicate water flow. If the leak indicator is moving after you’ve turned off the water main, that means you might have a leak.
If you do not have a leak indicator, you can try a different approach. Before turning off the water main, take a control reading of your water meter. Turn off the water supply and then return after two to three hours. If your reading has changed, you might have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
3. Perform DIY Tests
If your water meter readings indicate a leak, there is a test you can perform without any special equipment. First, you’ll want to look for signs of a ‘running toilet.’ As the name suggests, a running toilet occurs when there is a continuous water flow from the tank into the toilet bowl in between flushes.
A faulty flapper valve usually causes running toilets. This is the rubber valve at the bottom of the tank that lifts when the toilet is flushed. If it’s old, worn, or cracked, it may not provide a reliable seal. To test for this, place a few drops of food coloring in the water tank. After about an hour, check to see if the dye appears in the toilet bowl. If the dye shows up, you probably have a leak.
Note: If you have a pool on your property, the pool may also be the source of a leak. To learn more about detecting pool leaks, visit our Do-It-Yourself Guide to Pool Leaks.
5. Inform the Water Company
If you suspect a leak and you’ve been unable to resolve the problem with the tests above, contact your water company immediately. Some leaks can originate from city property, such as a damaged waterline or blocked sewer. In those cases, the utility provider will likely be responsible for repairs and associated costs.
6. Call a Leak Detector
If you’re still unable to find your leak, it’s time to call in the specialists! Leak detection is the best way to ensure that your repair professional will be able to complete their work quickly and efficiently. Once we’ve found your leak, we will be happy to help to refer you to our network of professional affiliates so you can have the leak repaired by a licensed restoration or plumbing service provider.
At The Waterboy, our mission is to provide you with cost-effective leak detection services. We provide 24-hour emergency response services because we understand that leaks can occur at any time. If you think you have a leak, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Proud Providers of Residential Leak Detection in Los Angeles with Service Available in: Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Encino, Tarzana, Northridge, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, Studio City, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Malibu, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Sylmar, Glendale, Pasadena, San Fernando, Burbank, Palmdale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Culver City, Ranch Palos Verdes, Carson, Lakewood, Gardena, Compton, Valencia, Santa Clarita. Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, San Bernardino County.