How To Test For A Water Leak In The Home?

Finding water leaks sooner rather than later can make a huge amount of difference to the damage caused in the home and the amount it will cost to put things right. Research has shown that the typical home can lose 2,000-20,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks. Some leaks can be very obvious such as dripping tap; however the majority of leaks go undetected for years because the source of the leak is simply not visible.

Water Meter

The majority of leaks can be identified from a thorough check of the water meter – whether you have a combination of smaller leaks or one large one, changes in the water meter can highlight this for you.

Using the water meter, simply perform a leak check with the following steps:

  1. Ensure all the water/water device (dishwashers, washing machines etc) are turned off inside and outside the home.
  2. Record the reading of the water meter.
  3. Wait 15 minutes – ensure no water is used during this time.
  4. Record the reading of the water meter again – if the meter has recorded water use during the test, this is usually a sign of a leak.

This test is most successful for identifying bigger leaks. If you have a small leak, the water meter may not pick this up.

If the test does a highlight a leak, it will not identify where the leak is located. More in-depth tests will need to be carried out to discover where the leak is and what is causing it.

Main Supply of Water

A severe, difficult to fix type of leak is when it comes from the main water supply line – these leaks are often difficult to detect as the supply line is buried at least 3 feet below the ground surface. A sign of a leaking water supply line is if the meter box contains water. Another common exit for leaking water might be where the supply line rises above the ground and enters the house.

If you find the soil is constantly damp where the water supply line is – this can also indicate a leak. This type of repair should never be attempted by a home owner – a qualified plumber/specialist is required.

Showers, Taps and Baths

Faucet leaks are a common occurrence in the home and they are usually extremely simple to repair. If you notice an unwanted drip coming from a tap or the shower – this is the sign of a small leak. Although a small leak may appear not to be doing too much damage, a faucet dripping slowly at only one drop every two seconds will waste more than 1,000 gallons of water per year.


Toilets are also another common source of leaks in the home. These types of leaks will usually go unnoticed because the leaks are often out of view and silent. Studies show that 20-35% of all residential toilets leak to a certain degree. If you notice a hissing or gurgling sound when the toilet is not in use – this is a sign of a leaking toilet.

If the water levels in the tank and toilet are constantly low, it is likely there is a leak of some sort coming from the toilet. It is extremely difficult to fix a toilet leak so a professional would have to come and identify it and fix the issue.

Vernon Morris Utility Solutions is a specialist supplier to the utilities. The range of digital flow gauges can be successfully used to identify leaks in the home.

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