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Using More Water Than Usual? 3 Steps To Identify Leaks

With summer on the way, you're going to be using more water than usual, especially if your kids are going to be out of school, or you're having family in from out of town. The last thing you want to deal with is plumbing problems that push your water bill even higher. If you're noticing that your water bill is increasing at an unusual pace this summer, it might be time to do a quick inspection of the likely culprits. Here are three simple steps you can take to identify the cause of your increased water usage.

Check the Yard for Puddles

If your water bill is going up, and you suspect a plumbing problem, your yard is one of the first places you should check. This might seem unusual, however, there are a lot of underground water pipes that run throughout your yard. This is particularly true if you have an automatic sprinkler system. To identify potential leaks, look around your yard. Look for areas in your grass that appear greener than other areas. In dirt areas, look for puddles or patches of fresh mud. These signs are a good indication that you a leaky underground pipe.

Watch the Toilets for Leaks

You might not realize this, but your toilets can also be a culprit when it comes to rising water bills – even if you don't hear it running overtime. Plumbing problems can cause water to leak from the tank into the bowl. The first thing you should do is watch the water in the toilet bowl. If you can see a stream of water leaking into the bowl long after the toilet was flushed, you have a leak in the tank. If you don't see water leaking into the bowl, you could still have a small leak from the tank. Place enough blue food coloring in the tank to tint the water. Leave the water to set for about 15 minutes and then check the toilet bowl. If the water in the bowl is tinted blue, you have a leaky tank.

Turn the Water Off at the Meter

If you've searched everywhere, but you still can't find a reason for the additional water usage, it's time to go to the source – the water meter. Head out to the water meter and turn it off. Make a note of the meter numbers when you turn it off. Leave the water off for about 30 minutes. Next, turn the water back on and check the numbers on the meter. If the numbers have changed, that means you had water running somewhere even though the meter was shut off.

Don't let hidden leaks put a damper on your summer. Use the tips provided here to identify leaks in your plumbing. If you locate leaks, contact a plumber near you to take care of the repairs.   


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