Toilet Leak Test
A simple dye test will help you determine if a toilet is running. This test is designed to show whether the flapper is seated correctly. Dye tablets or food coloring can be used for this test.
To check your toilet for leaks:
Please use dye tablets or red, green, or blue food coloring.
- 1. Remove the lid off the back of the toilet.
- 2. If you use cleaning tablets in your commode tank, remove them and flush the water until clear.
- 3. Put a dye tablet or food coloring in the back of the tank.
- 4. Do not flush the toilet. Let it sit at least 10 minutes.
- 5. If the color appears in the toilet bowl by itself, or if the tank and the bowl have flushed themselves clear, the flapper is not sealing and will need to be replaced.
- 6. If all of the color is still in the tank, the flapper is sealing properly.
To check for refrigerator leaks:
A frozen water supply line is only as issue for refrigerators with ice makers or water dispensers. If your refrigerator has these features, the water line running through them may be clogged or frozen. Various factors can cause this issue, including improper freezer temperature or broken door gaskets.
To check whether your refrigerator is experiencing this issue, follow these steps:
- Unplug your refrigerator and pull it away from the wall. To find the water supply line, look for a clear line made of flexible plastic or braided metal.
- Check the supply line’s connection points. If you spot a leak at this location, use an adjustable wrench to tighten the connection.
- If your connection points are secure and you still notice a leak, shut off the water supply line between your home and fridge. Remove the water line and bring it to your local hardware store to get a replacement.
Note: If you’re unsure how to shut off your water or remove the supply line, contact a trusted plumber. Incorrectly replacing your line can cause serious damage that leaves you with a bigger mess than you began with. While waiting for the plumber to arrive, you can still use your fridge with the water supply connection turned off.
To check for irrigation system leaks:
- Dry landscape. A lawn or yard that looks like it hasn’t been watered is an obvious sign that something may be wrong with your sprinkler system. You may also notice that most areas are dry while a specific area is green. That might help you find the broken sprinkler pipe underground.
- Higher water bill. If you haven’t been using significantly more water indoors but get a significantly higher than normal bill after you begin irrigation, you could have an irrigation leak. However, there could also be a leak somewhere else in the house. You may want to install a dedicated irrigation meter so it’s easier to determine whether the problem is indoors or outdoors.
- Pooling water around the sprinkler head. While your overall landscape may be dry due to uneven watering, leak areas can make themselves known with puddles around the sprinkler head or in other spots around the yard that suggest excessive water flow.
- Low pressure. Like other pipe leaks, pressure can tell you what’s happening within a system. And when it’s too low, it can mean that water flow is off, indicating a possible leak. This usually looks like sprinkler heads spouting very little water or, in some cases, they won’t raise at all.
- Visible damage. Just as you did with your post-winter checkup, look for cracked pipes as well as broken solenoid valves or damaged sprinkler heads.
How do you check if a faucet is leaking?
Start by drying up all the standing water on top of the sink. Then, turn the water on (both handles if it’s a double-handle sink), and look carefully for water seeping around the base of the faucet.
Remember, Outdoor Faucets Leak Too
Because we don’t spend a constant amount of time near outdoor faucets, by the time you suspect a leak, it’s probably been happening for a long time. Sometimes the cause is minor, such as a loose packing nut or worn-out washer. Often, outdoor spigots are damaged by ice, frost, or cold weather.
To check for outside faucet leaks:
- Outdoor faucet leaks may also be causing indoor drips, so they should be addressed as soon as they are discovered. The problem could be the faucet itself, but it could also be an issue with the pipes leading to the outdoor spigot. Cover the opening of the outside faucet with your thumb or hand. Turn the water on. If you can hold the water in, with your hand or thumb, that means you may have a crack somewhere in the piping and water is leaking out.
Hot Water Heater
If you hear water rushing or dripping while you stand beside your water heater, follow the sound and search for visual confirmation of a leak. If you can hear water, but no leak is apparent, there may be a break inside the tank . This can happen as a result of normal wear and tear and requires replacing the tank.
Leaks Inside the Home
Used more water than you expected and you aren’t sure of the cause? Start by looking inside your home.
Simple Steps to Identify a Leak Inside the Home
- 1. First, do not turn any valve in the meter box!
- 2. Locate the meter that supplies your home. Observe to see if the red sweep hand is moving, or if your meter is equipped with a small black triangle (this is a low flow indicator), check to see if it is turning. If so, you have a leak and water is running through the meter.
- 3. If your meter is outside and you have a shut off valve that isolates the house from the yard line, turn it off, then check the meter. If it continues to run, the leak could be located on the service line before the shut off valve. If it stops, the leak is located in the house.
- 4. If your meter is inside the house or the meter stopped in step 3 you need to isolate different fixtures or outlets you suspect could be leaking in the home (Example: toilets, hot water tank, sink or basin).
- 5. Turn these fixtures off, one at a time, then recheck the meter to see if it is still running. Repeat this step until the meter stops.
- 6. If the meter is still running after isolating all the different fixtures in the house, it is possible the leak is in the plumbing, between fixtures.
- 7. Remember, if you open the meter box, that you shut and close all lids.
Outside Meter kept moving after I shut water off inside.
If your meter is outside and the meter continued to move after you shut water off inside there could be a leak on the service line between the meter and the house. Follow these steps to check.
Simple Steps to Identify a Leak Between the Meter & the House when your meter is outside.
- 1. Locate your meter, remove the lid, and note the current meter reading.
- 2. Do not use any water in your home for 3 to 4 hours.
- 3. After the elapsed time, check the meter again and note the new current reading.
- 4. If the numbers have changed, subtract the first reading from the second to see how much water you lost during the test.
This test can also be done in a 10 to 12 hour time frame when no one will be home to use the water. Should a leak be apparent, look for a wet spot on the ground between the curb and your home to pinpoint the leak location
- A leaking toilet, or a toilet that continues to run after being flushed is the most common.
- A faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more.
- Filling or topping off a swimming pool or hot tub.
- Watering the lawn, new grass, or trees; also check for an open hose spigot.
- Irrigation systems, check automated systems, you may need to reprogram.
- Did you know? An irrigation system that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the same thickness as a dime) can waste approximately 6,300 gallons of water per month.
- Humidifiers that are improperly adjusted or not working correctly.
- Water–cooled air conditioners.
- Sump pumps that have water powered back up.
- A broken water pipe or obvious leak; check the pipes and water heater in the basement or crawlspace.
- Water softener problems – cycles continuously.
- Running water to avoid freezing water pipes during cold weather.
- Service line leaks between your water meter and your home, check for wet spots in your yard.
- Previous balances not paid in full, extra fees and/or penalties.
- Kids home for summer vacations, holidays, extra guests.
What Can I Do if My Bill is Unusually High?
If you receive a bill that you feel is too high, check over the common causes listed above. This may help to pinpoint the source of the high bill. You can create an account at www.KCWater.us which allows you to monitor your usage down to the gallon, every hour or every four hours depending on the meter type.
(Where to log in, what the account holder will see, what it means.)
- “Log in by clicking My Account.”
- Select usage by clicking “here” or “here” (There are two spots on the screen that will navigate people to their usage.)
- You will see daily, monthly, and interval. Monthly will show the usage every day for that month, Daily usage will show the breakdown by hour. Interval will show the active times of water use in a 24-hour period.
Link to sign up to receive Usage Alert emails.
Our handy tool, My Usage Tracker, available online in My Account helps you graph your water usage over time, so you can easily see your daily usage.
- Log in or register for My Account
- Follow the step-by-step instructions
Understanding my usage
Monthly usage explanation
- Compare one month to the next to check your bill. Example: did I have guests visit, did I host an event, did I find a leaking toilet that I repaired/jiggled the handle?
Daily Usage explanation
- Normal fluctuations may look like, washing a car, watering a lawn, doing an extra load of laundry
- A spike would look like… (can we pull an example from a graph from a customer with no identification on the graph)
- Continuous usage would look like this… (can we pull an example from a graph from a customer with no identification on the graph)
Interval usage explanation
- “When I see zero from 9:00 AM- 3:00 PM it means no one is home.”
- “When I see zero usage from 2:00 AM- 4:00 AM it means everyone is asleep”
- “When I see zero completely, it means my MTU is not transmitting.” *Please note, the meter is still reading the water, but you need to contact us at kcwater.us to request an MTU repair.