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Hidden Household Leaks: How to Find Them

While it's easy to spot obvious pipe leaks that can be found under the sink, hidden leaks are not as easy to find. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, finding and fixing easily corrected household leaks can save homeowners more than 10 percent on water bills. If you suspect you have a hidden water waster in your home, follow these tips to find the culprit.

Meet Your Meter
To check for leaks, turn off all water-using appliances and faucets, and then take a look at your water meter. If the flow-indicator arrow or the dials on your meter are still turning, then you have a leak. To determine the size of the leak, check the reading on your water meter, wait an hour, and check the reading again. Now, you can start to look for the cause.

Toilets
Toilets are the most common source of household leaks.  Shut off one toilet at a time at the wall, and use the process of elimination to locate the leak by checking your flow indicator after each shutoff. If the small arrow stops moving, then you’ve found the culprit.

Main Service Line
Switch your water shutoff valve to cut off all water to your home, and test an indoor faucet to make sure the water is off. Check the flow-indicator arrow at the meter. If the arrow is moving, then the leak is between the shutoff valve and the water meter.

Sprinkler System
If you’ve found that the leak isn’t inside your home or in the water main, your sprinkler system might be the source. Shut off the anti-siphon valve that serves your sprinkler system. If the flow-indicator arrow stops moving, the problem is more than likely in your sprinkler system.

Pools & Spas
If you suspect your pool may be causing the leak, then turn off your pool’s automatic fill valve and place a bucket on a step where the rim is at least a few inches above the water line. Fill the bucket with enough water to match the water in the pool, and carefully mark the water levels on both the inside and outside of the bucket. Wait 24 hours, and then compare the water level in the bucket to the water level in the pool. If the water level in the bucket is noticeably higher, you may have a leak in your pool.

Now what?
If you are not able to find the leak, you may want to consider contacting a professional plumber to locate and fix it. Call ARS®/Rescue Rooter® at 1-800-277-9400 for a thorough inspection and leak detection.
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