Water Leak Testing and Prevention

Did you know that homes can lose 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks? With detrimental water leaks, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to cover the costs for repairs. Many types of leaks in a home can be easily identified, such as dripping faucets or leaking water heaters. However, there are other types of leaks in a home that often go unseen. Running toilets and poorly-calibrated humidifiers can waste thousands of gallons of water each year. Keep in mind, any leak can allow water to flow 24 hours a day, costing you money.

A Few Tips to Avoid High Water Bills:

Leaking Toilet?

  1. Listen for a hissing sound coming from your toilet
  2. Check to see if water is making ripples in the toilet bowl
  3. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank of the toilet, let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes. DO NOT FLUSH. If you see the food coloring in the toilet bowl, the internal operating mechanisms in the tank will likely need to be replaced/repaired.

Heading out of Town?

If you are leaving town, you may consider shutting off the water service line that enters into your home. Water heaters can malfunction and flood basements, causing serious damage to a home. To turn off the water supply to your home, follow these steps:

  • Locate the water meter (usually in the basement). There should be two valves, one before the water passes through the meter, and one after.
  • Turn the valve that water flows through before it passes through the meter.
  • If you would like to flush the water that currently sits in the pipes (to avoid potential freeze), find a water outlet (spigot, sink, etc.) at the lowest elevation of the home and let it run until the water stops flowing.
  • Keep in mind that leaving a home for too long without flushing toilets will dry out the gaskets, causing another opportunity for a possible leak.

Want to learn more about common household leaks? Visit www.auburnhills.org/leakdetection

Ron Melchert, Director of Public Works

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