Hidden Water Leaks / Wastage that You should Know
Significant number of households actually wasted a lot of water due to undetected water leaking and be charged with excessive water bills from what they have been utilizing.
Averagely, typical home can waste 2,000 to 20,000 gallons (7.6m3 to 76m3) of water per year due to leaks.
Many leaks are invisible from the eyes of us, such as piping system fixed inside the wall, ceiling, slab. However, we can also discover some leaks easily, for example, from water heaters and faucets.
Water Meter Check
Water meter is an effective tool to check up large leaks or many small leaks.
First of all, must make sure every single point of water is turned off, including auto water machine such as disherwasher, clothes washers etc.
Take down the reading of the meter, make sure every single member of your family is not using water for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
Check the reading once again after the waiting time.
Always remember to verify the small appliances such as water filters are not those contributing the discrepancy of meter reading.
After all of the above steps are completed, if any recorded water use from the meter, most probably a water leak is confirmed.
However, this method cant lead to the exact leaking point and also small leaks.
Hence, you require a combination of other checking methods for further investigations.
Leaks in Water Supply Line
Water supply line is the pipes from the meter to the home, this is normally harder to be detected as it might be built underground. Water leaks might travel along the pipe and return to meter, if meter box has water not due to rain, supply line might have a leak.
Another scenario might also indicates water leaking for supply line, where soil or location along the supply line always damp without other factors such as rainwater.
House owner should never attempt to repair of leaking if without any experience, always contact relevant party such as plumber or utility department.
Tub, Faucet, Shower Leaks
Frequent leaks normally happen in these areas and research found that every drops of leak in every two seconds will waste more than 1,000 gallos (3.7m3) of water each year. Several types of faucets needed to be repaired which found commonly in house; catridge, ball, compression and ceramic disc. Each of them has actually different procedures to repair and you should always engage a experienced plumber to do so.
Toilet is a commonly leak where the leaks are mostly silent and undetected easily. Major toilet leaks should be discoverable, such as when valve has sound when not in use also.
Check the flush mechanism by moving the tank lid, and verify whether the tank's water level is not is not more than 1 inch below the top of overflow tube. This is because if the water level exceeds the guideline provided just now, it will leak slowly into overflow tube and subsequently the drain.
1) The float is damaged and not shutting off the refill valve;
2) The water level is adjusted too high or,
3) The refill valve (ball-cock assembly) is worn and needs replacement.
Test can be also be done for the flapper valve's leak by placing dye tablets or a few drops of food colouring into the tank to get the water coloured (if bowl's water turns into colour within 15 minutes, leaking is confirmed). This leak is caused by the seal, where
a) The chain snagging makes it does not allow flapper to drop completely onto the valve seat;
b) The flapper is warped or worn, this is the most common and easiest to repair. c) The valve seat is worn.
Pool and Fountain Leaks
Due to the pressure and the system setup, this category of leaks caused you loss most water and mostly due to the following reasons:
1) Algae formation too soon after chemical treatment 2) Gaps and cracks in the pool shell
3) Pool deck cracks
4) Settling of the whole structure into the ground 5) Loose or falling tiles
6) Constantly damp soil surrounding the pool and/or under the house.
This check required to place a water-filled bucket on the first step of the fountain and pool, get a tape piece to put in and out of the bucket and mark the level of water in the pool and bucket. Make another new marks on the tape with new water level in both the pool and bucket. A leak is confirm if water level in bucket dropped lesser than in the pool or fountain.