A dripping faucet or a toilet that runs can waste significant amounts of water, and in less time than you may think.

Consider A faucet that drips just once every second wastes 168 gallons of water a month. And a toilet leak can waste up to 200 gallons per day!

Fixing leaks saves you money, and helps conserve our natural water resources. Following is information that can help you identify and fix leaks:

How to Check for a Leak

  • Choose a time when everyone in your house will be gone for a significant period of time – several days is ideal, but a good 8 to 10-hour stretch is good, too
  • Make sure automatic sprinklers and ice makers are turned off
  • Then, just before you leave, take a reading off your water meter and write that number down
  • When you return, before anyone has a chance to run any water, check the meter again
  • If it has moved, you may have a water leak

Here are the likely culprits for water leaks:

Faucet Leaks

  • A sheet of paper left under a faucet overnight will indicate a leak there
  • Remember to check tub and shower faucets, as well as sinks
  • Also, check pipes under the sink for signs of dampness, and check your outdoor faucets as well

If you’re handy, you can probably fix the leak yourself. Just download the Sink Repair Insert (PDF) and How to Repair Your Tub and Shower Faucet (PDF) for more information. Otherwise, a qualified plumber can help you.

Toilet Leaks

  • Add a dozen drops of food coloring to the tank
  • If the color shows up in the bowl, or if it has disappeared from the tank after a few hours, you have a leak

Download the How to Fix a Toilet Brochure (PDF) if you’d like to try to troubleshoot the problem yourself, or call a qualified plumber.

Irrigation Leaks

  • Check all sprinkler heads to make sure they are not cracked, broken, or obviously leaking
  • Check for areas where water is pooling or that stay wet and soggy after the rest of the area has dried
  • If pipes run under those areas, you may have a leak