Water leaks at home

Use your water meter to detect leaks

Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances.

Check your water meter—it’s usually in the basement where your water pipe enters the front of your home.

Record your meter’s reading at night when you are done using water for the day, and then again in the morning before using any water. If you have a water softener, do this test when it is not recharging. If the number increases overnight, you have a leak.

Reading an analog water meter

If the low-flow indicator is turning, moving or shaking then you might have a leak. The low-flow indicator is usually a small red or black triangle or dial on the face of the water meter. This image shows the location of the low-flow indicator on the face of a water meter. The low-flow indicator in this image is a small red triangle located close to the middle of the water meter’s face.

Watch the video: How to read an analog water meter.

Reading a digital water meter

digital water meter

Open the lid and shine a flashlight on the solar panel to activate the display. Wait a few seconds and you will see the total consumption in litres. Then you will see the word “RATE” at the top and the current flow rate in litres per minute. The meter will show each reading every 30 seconds.

Screen of a digital water meter showing a faucet symbol which suggests a leak

To find a leak, look for the leak symbol shaped like a tap
Faucet symbol indicating a leak on a digital water meter

  • If it is off, there are no leaks
  • If it is flashing, there has been water flowing for more than 12 hours over a 24 hour period
  • If it is on, water has been flowing for at least 24, and you likely have a leak

Watch the video: How to read a digital water meter

Common household leaks

The most common household leaks are in toilets, faucets, water softeners, sprinkler systems, swimming pools.

Property owners are responsible for all plumbing maintenance and repairs. If you are unable to find the source of a water leak, please contact a professional plumber.

How to find and fix a toilet leak

Remove the lid from the toilet tank. Look and listen for leaks.The water should be about 0.6 centimetres (1/4 inch) below the top of the overflow tube. To adjust the water level, lower the float rod connected to the float ball.

If you hear noise but the water isn’t moving, the leak is most likely occurring through the flapper located at the bottom of the tank.

Check the chain to make sure it’s not caught on something

This image shows the inside of a toilet tank, including the flapper at the bottom of the tank and the overflow tube (a hollow upright cylinder with an opening at the top).

You can use food colouring or get a free dye test kit from the City to find out if the flapper is leaking.

  • Put a few drops of food colouring or a leak detector tablet/sticker in the toilet tank.
  • Wait 20-30 minutes. Don’t flush the toilet during this time. Then check the water in the toilet bowl.
  • If you see coloured dye in the water in the toilet bowl, there is a leak.

Try cleaning the flapper and valve so they fit snugly. If that doesn’t work you may need to replace the flapper.

If you still have a leak after checking these items, contact your plumber.

Contact us for a free dye test kit

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