Help – I Have a Leak

Help – I Have a Leak

What do I do if I have a leak on my side of the water meter?

Leaks happen, both inside and outside your home/business.  Know in advance where your shut off valve is inside your home/business.  That valve can be your best friend when a pipe has burst in your home and you need to shut off the water in a hurry.  If the leak is outside, before your valve, give us a call, we can come and shut off the flow of water at the meter.  Below are a few tips to follow if you have a leak.  

  1. Know where your shut off valve is inside your home/business.  Exercise that valve frequently to ensure it works when it is needed.
  2. Give us a call if you suspect a leak outside, we can shut the flow of water off at the water meter.
  3. Have a reputable plumber’s phone number available before you need it.  Know who you are going to call when a leak happens.

If I have a water leak, am I responsible for fixing it?

Yes.  The water district does not install the piping to your home/business past the water meter.  It is the property owner’s responsibility to make repairs to their water system in a timely manner to limit the wasteful consumption of water.  Check with your neighbors, friends, family etc… on a reputable plumber or contractor to help you find and fix your leak.

Can the water district help me find the leak?

We can only help you with a list of common places to look for leaks.  We can not come in to your home to help find leaks.  We recommend you contact a plumber to help locate and fix leaks on your side of the water meter.  

What are the common sources of leaks on my side of the water meter?

There are many possible places for water to leak inside and outside of your home.  Below is a list of the common places we find where water leaks occur.

1. Toilets – This is the source of most leaks in a customers home/business.  

Within the toilet itself there are two places where leaks can occur:

a) The water level in the toilet tank is set too high.  This will cause water to constantly run and fall through the overflow pipe in the toilet tank.  Sometimes you can hear this occurring, but often times you can not.  It is recommended that the water level in the tank be set ½” below the top of the overflow pipe to ensure water is not being wasted down the overflow pipe.  

b) The flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank does not seal properly.  This leads to water leaking from the tank into the bowl and occasionally, the toilet will flush on its own.  If you suspect this is occurring either clean or replace the flapper at the bottom of the tank.  Customers can also check to see if water is leaking by the flapper by placing food coloring in the toilet tank and then wait and see if that color appears in the toilet bowl.  If you see the same color in the toilet bowl, then you know your flapper is leaking and needs cleaned or replaced.

2. Water Softeners – Water softeners are notorious for causing high water bills and discolored water.  If the water softener is not maintained properly, the system will cause high water bills and discolored water.  If you experience a high water bill and you have checked all your toilets, it is recommended to have your water softener looked at by a certified plumber to ensure the system is working properly.  If you have discolored water, certainly give us a call first, we will know if there is a problem in our water system that may be affecting you.  If we have not been working in the area and you have discolored water and you have a water softener, switch your system into by-pass mode and flush water from all faucets in your home for 10-15 minutes.  If the water in your home clears up, then you know your water softener is malfunctioning and/or needs cleaned out.  

3. Irrigation systems – Those customers that have lawn irrigations systems should check your system frequently when the system is running to ensure all sprinkler heads are working properly and that there are no leaks in the pipes under-ground.  If your sprinkler heads are not flowing properly, there could be a leak at the head under-ground.  If you see water bubbling out of the ground or see extreme wet areas in your yard, you could have a busted or leaking pipe.  Contact an experienced lawn irrigation company for assistance in fixing your irrigation system.  

4. Connection points – There are many places in your water system where pipe is connected to another pipe via a coupling.  One of those points may be immediately inside or outside your home/business, typically next to a foundation wall.  Often times, after years of settling, the connection point becomes weak and breaks.  You will need to contact a plumber to have this excavated and repaired.  

5. Service line – The pipe between the water meter and your home/business is put in by your builder when your building is built.  The water district does not put these pipes in.  If you see a wet spot around the water meter or anyplace in between, you could have a leak in your service line.  You will need to contact a plumber to have this excavated and repaired.  If the leak is coming from inside the meter pit, the water district will repair the leak.  If the leak is outside the meter pit, it is the customers responsibility.