Detecting Water Leaks

Common Causes
If you suspect a leak somewhere in your home due to a higher water bill or simply hearing a drip you will want to try and detect where the leak is coming from. In most instances the leak is found inside the tank of a toilet (the rubber flapper that lets water from the tank enter the bowl is most often the cause of the problem).

The other major cause of leaks in the tank is the filler valve assembly. This assembly can be out of adjustment, causing the tank to over fill or be leaking.
tablets in toilet tank to detect leaky toilet A simple and easy way to detect a leak is to perform a
test using dye tablets or blue food coloring.

Add the tablet or blue food coloring into the toilet tank.
showing dye results in checking for a leaky toilet As you can see, if you have a leaky toilet, the water in the
toilet bowl will turn blue. If there is not a leak the water
will remain clear and clean.

Finding the Leak
  • Listen - You may be able to hear the water moving through the valve assembly inside the tank.
  • Feel - Put your hand on the side of the tank - If the tank is cold or sweating and you have not flushed it for a while you may have a leak.
  • Check the water level - Take the tank cover off and check the water level of the tank. It should be set so it is below the over flow level.
  • Food coloring - Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. In ten minutes check the bowl. If any of the colored water is in the bowl you need to do maintenance of the tank.
  • Check the meter - You can also check the water meter that is inside your home. With a flashlight shine the light on the solar cell. When the LED display cycles to RATE that is the gallons flowing per minute. Also you may have a picture of a water faucet on the display. If it is flashing you have a intermittent leak. If it stays on you have a continuous leak. (The water meter is able to detect even a very small leak.) If the water meter shows that you are using water and you are unable to find a leak, call us at 563.589.4304. We will be glad to come to your home to see if we can assist in finding the leak.
  • Click here for info on reading the meter