Do I Have A Water Leak?

Q. Boy do I need help! We recently bought a 15 year old house and the water bill has been outrageous! Over 90 dollars a month! Usually, it was 45 dollars a month and we had a bigger house! I have tried the dye in the toilet to check for leaks and it was ok. Does anyone know how we can check for a broken pipe underground without digging up the whole yard? Thanks!

A. Some plumbers have snake with a camera on the end. They can go down pipes and see if there are leaks in them. – LF

A. Regarding the water bills – I assume your enquirer is in the US but this may be useful. In Australia our water is metered. If you are sure all taps,(faucets), and any water using appliances are turned off you can look at the meter. There is usually some sort of dial. If you are using no water this dial should be stationary. If it is moving there is a leak somewhere. Look around the outside of the house for extra green patches in the garden which may be getting an sneaky watering via a leak! A plumber may be able to find a leak if you can’t. Also consider your appliances – have you got a different washing machine or dishwasher? Some of them are much more water efficient than others. This also goes for the shower head and toilet flush. Jo in Western Australia

A. I live in a 1000 sq. ft. home. Our water bill was running 165.00 for 3/months. I called the city and asked if they knew what to do. They came out and checked the sewer lines with a camera for free. They also did a pressure test (I didn’t watch, so I am not sure what this is) on the pipes. It turned out we had a broken sewer pipe under our basement floor and a leaky toilet.
The dye test on the toilet showed nothing for us either. – Jill

A. You can check to see if there is a leak by turning all water off in the house. Go out and read the water meter and then read it several hours later. A good time might be at bedtime and then the next morning. If the meter has moved a good deal then it definitely means there’s a leak. When there have been several dry days, check around the yard for moist spots. Also, look UNDER the house to see if pipes are leaking. When I have a water leak under my house I can usually HEAR water running, especially if I get near the water heater. Pipes may have burst during freezing weather. At one time I heard of a case where a building near the house(garage/shed) had water piped to it and had sprung a leak. This wasn’t noticed until it was found. And the rare case where an adjoining house has been hooked onto YOUR water line.

A. Try calling the utilities or water department. In your city, the utilities department will come to your house and check it out for you. For free. No charge. It’s worth a phone call to find out if they’ll do it for you. – Susan

A. Regarding the water bills, I recommend contacting the water dept. to find out what the rates are. If you moved to a different city, chances are their rates may be higher than where you used to live. While you have your water dept. on the phone, ask them to check and make sure that the meter is working properly – I’ve had mine replaced twice due to defects. Finally, if there is a leak, it may be on city property on or near the water meter. Rule that out before you go through the major expense of digging anything up! Good luck with this! Tracy in Watauga, TX

A. Turn the water off where it comes into the house and go look at the meter…if it’s moving, you have a leak somewhere between the meter and your house. If you did have a significant leak, though’, your yard would be saturated. Perhaps, though’, the meter wasn’t correctly read since you just moved

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