According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted across the U.S. each year due to household leaks. Even the smallest, hidden water leaks in your home plumbing system can be detrimental to your water bill, and local water conservation efforts.
Luckily, many common indoor water leaks can be easily identified and fixed. For more complex issues, such as supply line leaks or issues related to your irrigation system and water pressure, you can call a professional plumber for assistance.
At Indiana American Water, our goal is to help educate customers across Indiana about water conservation to help them manage their utility bills and protect the local water supply. Follow our comprehensive guide to fixing household water leaks below. Contact us for more information and resources on leaks and other plumbing issues.
How to Detect Household Leaks
When it comes to household leaks, timing is everything. The faster you’re able to identify and address the source of leaks, the less water will be wasted and the less chance you have of experiencing skyrocketing water bills.
Luckily, there are often easy-to-spot signs. If you have a toilet leak, you may notice damp flooring around the bottom of the toilet and the smell of sewage or musty water in and around the bathroom. Possible factors for toilet leaks include a damaged float arm, a defective plunger ball, or a flapper valve. A leaking sink is probably the most noticeable problem as it results in dripping faucets. The culprit in this scenario is often a worn or improperly fitted washer or gasket.
In the case of a service line, which usually brings water to your home underground, the signs of a leak are much harder to spot. Keep an eye out for a soft, wet spot on your lawn or the sound of running water when you’re outside your home.
Other sources of household leaks are usually discovered when the leak has caused water to pool under or around the source, including:
- Leaking Pipe
- Leaking Water Heaters or Water Heater Tanks
- Water Softener
- Washing Machine
- Fire Suppression System
- Bathtubs & Showers
- Outdoor Water Faucets
The #1 way to find leaks is with a water meter test. If you have access to your water meter, check the meter before and after 2 hours of no water use. If the meter changes, despite your family not using any water, you most likely have a leak.
Indiana American Water Leak Detection Kit
If a rising utility bill or unusual water meter reading has made you suspicious of a leak in your home, but you haven’t been able to visually spot a leak, you can rely on Indiana American Water’s comprehensive leak detection kit.
Our step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know to perform quick, effective leak detection that will pick up even the smallest leaks. Our checklist encompasses common indoor leaks, not-so-common indoor leaks, and outdoor leaks.
Why Is it Important to Fix Water Leaks?
The statistics about household leaks, whether caused by leaking valves, broken seals, tub leaks, or simple faucet leaks, are startling. Here are some common reasons why you should address water leaks with urgency.
Decreased Utility Costs
The average Indiana homeowner can save an average of 10% on water bills just by fixing a leak.
Improved Water Conservation
No one wants to contribute to water waste, but 1 in 10 homes in Indiana has a leak that wastes more than 90 gallons of water each day. Fixing even the tiniest of leaks can make a major difference in your household’s water usage. For instance, upgrading old, leaky toilets can save an average of 13,000 gallons of water annually.
Better Indoor Air Quality
When a leak is left unchecked, moisture seeps into your home – behind walls, under subflooring, and underneath appliances. Even after a leak is eventually addressed, this moisture can lead to mold growth, affecting your family’s respiratory health.
Reduced Risk of Water Damage
Water is a powerful force, and when it’s let loose within your home it can do some serious damage. Whether caused by an older plumbing system or a small problem with your toilet, an unchecked leak can lead to structural issues, cosmetic damage, and other negative effects, resulting in costly repairs and decreasing the overall value and safety of your home.
Professional Water Leak Repair VS DIY Leak Repair
Detecting a leak is only the first step. Next, you must fix it.
In some cases, such as toilet leaks or leaky faucets, you can quickly address the issue on your own. Most local hardware stores carry plunger balls, flapper valves, and faucet washers and cartridges so you can easily replace the broken or worn-out part. However, more serious leak sources may require a more trained eye to catch and address.
Indiana American Water recommends calling a licensed plumber for leaks involving your hot water tank, washing machine, refrigerator, service line, pipe joints, irrigation systems, and other complex plumbing systems. We also encourage you to give our friendly customer service representatives a call, and we’ll do our best to provide assistance and further recommendations.
Contact Indiana American Water
At Indiana American Water, we care about all our customers across every corner of Indiana. We don’t want to see small leaks cause unmanageable water bills or lead to wasted water or damage in your home. That’s why we offer a number of online resources and information to help you efficiently detect leaks and use water wisely. Better water conservation starts at home. Contact us today for leak assistance when you need it most.