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Water leaks or leaking pipes are not always obvious, but they can often waste water and increase water expenses. Most water leaks are easy to fix, while others may require a professional plumber to correct.
Water Companies are usually responsible for repairing water leaks on the water meters and water main lines.
Property owners are typically responsible for the service lines, which run from the home all the way into the main usually towards the street in most cases.
If you suspect a water leak from a water meter or water main or want to request an inspection, contact Denver Water Customer Care at 303-893-2444.
How to find Water leaks:
Most water leaks can be heard or even seen, but some can be very hard to find. Checking your water meter may be the most useful tool in figuring out water leaks on your property. The water meter only operates when water is flowing into your property which can help indicate an issue.
Suggestions to follow to check for unseen water leaks:
Before you begin, make sure no water is being used outside or inside of your home.
- Locate the water meter.
- Locate the water supply shut-off valve for your home. It can be outdoors or indoors and is commonly located where the main water pipe enters the building foundation, usually just inside.
- Turn off all faucets, outlets and any appliances that use water.
- Look for the gallon calculating sweep hand on the water meter and note the position. After about 30 minutes or longer, take another look at the dial to see If the hand or the number wheels have moved. If so, you have a leak either inside or underground. Close the water main shut-off valve and look to see if the indicator stops. If it does then your leak is inside the building.
Toilets are the highest leaking culprit in most homes, so check your them and faucets to ensure you’re not wasting water.
If you find that the indicator continues to move when the water shut-off valve is closed, you have an underground water leak between the meter and the shut-off valve, which needs to be repaired.
Most water meters have a small, red triangle or gear-shaped indicator that will show very small water flows. If that indicator is moving after you shut off the valve, you have water running somewhere or leaking.
Leaking Water from Toilets
Toilet water leaks can waste many gallons and often times are silent but over time can add up to a lot of money. Even a small leak can produce a lot of wasted water. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy, fast, and not expensive to repair.
To help see if you have a water leaking toilet, lift the tank cover and add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tab in the back of the toilet tank. (You may buy dye tabs from any local home center or hardware store). Wait for about 20-30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see if any color is leaking from the tank. If the water is clean and clear, water is not leaking through. If you see coloring then that indicates that you have a water leak.
Flapper Valve Water Leaks
The most likely reason for a water leaking toilet is a flapper that is not sealing correctly. Flapper is a name for a rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that is lifted up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is worn out or even cracked, it can allow water to flow from the tank into the toilet bowl without activating.
Toilet Flush Handle Issues
If you notice that the toilet handle needs to be jiggled to stop the toilet water from running, the chain, flush level bar, or the handle itself may need adjusting. Try adjusting the nut that secures the toilet handle in the toilet tank. If that does not help, then the toilet handle or parts may need to be replaced.
Overflow Tube Leaks Water
The proper water level should be set so that is about even with the fill line located on the back of the toilet water tank (about ½” below the overflow tube). If the water level is too high in the toilet tank and it is spilling into the overflow tube then that is a problem. The water level in the tank may be adjusted by turning the adjustment screw so that the water turns off at a level just below the overflow tube.
Leaking Water from Faucets
Water leaking faucets are generally a result of a worn or well-used rubber washers. The rubber washers on a sink lever are usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace, with the correct tools.
Finding Other Water Leaks
The water you drink and clean with is delivered under pressure, so a leak can be very noticeable. Wastewater or black water is transferred by gravity and is not really under any pressure. This can make a wastewater leak much harder to see or find. If you suspect a wastewater leak, please call us at (303) 865-4830 for help.
Also, notice that the exact location of any leak may not always be immediately seen. Some leaks can start at one location, then flow along a ledge or some other channel for a distance before it drains down to create some visible issue.
Look for wet, discoloration stains, or warping on your floors, ceilings, walls, or woodwork (like the bottom of your bathroom or kitchen sink cabinets). Make sure to check twice for the actual location of a leak and not just the resulting damage from the leak before you attempt any repair.
Condensation may also be a formed as a sign from a water leak. While some condensation may be normal, excessive condensation can cause damage or create mold on your walls, ceilings, floors and even woodworking. If there is too much condensation, insulating your pipes may help to stop or reduce the condensation.
Underground Water Leak Detection
Visually look around to see if portions of your property are wet constantly.
Look at your curbs, driveway, or street for evidence of water presence. The evidence may not be a constant stream of water but rather, it may only be a puddle that never dries up, or a darker spot, like on dry concrete.