It is recommended always to be on the lookout for water leaks since even the smallest of leaks, when left untreated, can cause major damage to your home and be costly to repair. It is even more true for BPU customers during the winter months. It’s important for BPU customers to know that most residential water meters will not be read during the winter months of December, January, and February. During these months’ customers will still be billed the base charge, however, the cumulative usage over these months isn’t billed until March. It is also around this time that the City re-figures sewer rates based on BPU customer’s winter water usage. In order to avoid a large water and city sewer bill, it is extremely important for you to check for water leaks and repair them promptly.
Here are a few signs that indicate you may have a leak:
- Listen for the sound of running water. If you hear a sound like a toilet running when no water is turned on, you may have a leak.
- Check for small puddles of water around appliances that use water such as the dishwasher or washing machine. If your house is on a slab and you feel a warm spot on the floor, that may indicate a leak. A discolored or moist area on a wall or floor could indicate a leak if nothing has been spilled there.
Possible Leak Locations:
- Leaking faucets: A steadily dripping faucet can waste 15 – 20 gallons of water per day. And even if you are not using the water, it goes through your water meter, so you are charged for it. If you have a faucet in an out-of-the-way place that you seldom use, check it regularly to make sure that it is not leaking.
- Toilets: The toilet is the most common water waster, but a leaking toilet may be less noticeable than a dripping faucet. There are several ways to determine if a toilet is leaking:
- Look at the toilet bowl after the tank has stopped filling. If you see water continuing to run into the bowl or if you still hear water running, you probably have a leak.
- Many toilet leaks occur at the overflow pipe. To locate a leak, remove the lid from the toilet tank and flush. When the tank refills, the water should come up to about an inch below the overflow pipe. If water goes into the overflow pipe, you are wasting water. If the overflow pipe is cracked you are losing water and the pipe should be replaced.
- Outside taps: Check outside taps to see if they are running or dripping.
- Broken pipes: Broken pipes may be difficult to find especially if your pipes are located in a crawl space, within walls or underground from the meter to the house . Look for unexplained wet areas in the yard or water stains on walls. Broken pipes of leaking joints typically require a plumber to fix.
- Water heater: Check around your water heater to make sure it is not leaking. If you find water around the appliance you may have a leak from the drain faucet at the bottom or the top may have come unsealed.