Water Leaks & Costs

Water Leaks:

The best method for determining whether a leak exists is to take actual water meter readings.  This method checks the entire internal plumbing system for water leaks.  Take a water meter reading just before going to bed or when no one will use any water for several hours.  Take another meter reading in the morning before any water is used or after a few hours of non-use.  In theory, the two readings should be the same.  If they are not and you cannot account for the use by a humidifier, ice cube maker, toilet flush, or water softener, you have a leak, and further investigation is recommended.

From our experience, 90 percent of the leaks in residential plumbing systems are found at the toilet tank (view video below). Malfunctioning water softeners and humidifiers run a distant second and third.  We encourage you to check for a leak.  Toilets leak at the bottom of the tank around the flapper plug or at the top of the tank at the overflow tube.  To test the flapper plug, carefully remove the lid from the toilet tank and mark the water level in each toilet tank with a pencil.  Shut off the water supply to the toilet.  If the water remains on the mark you made for 10 minutes, the flapper plug is not leaking.  If the water level drops below the mark you made, the flapper plug is leaking and should be repaired or replaced.  The water level in the toilet tank should be at least 1 in. below the top of the overflow tube.  If the water level in the toilet tank is at the top of the overflow tube, that is where a leak may be occurring, and the float that control the water level in the tank should be adjusted so that the water level in the tank is at least 1 in. below the top of the tube.  Toilet tank leaks typically result from worn parts or misalignment of some part of the flushing mechanism.

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Cost of Water:

Most repairs can be done by an experienced "do-it-your-selfer".  If you are not sure you can handle the job, call a plumber.  It is important to stop the leak.  Water leaks are costly.  A typical toilet leak at todays rates can triple a single water bill.  Our information is provided as a courtesy, with hopes of action on your part that may minimize an unnecessary waste of water and expense to you.

Standard average cost based on an average household of 275 gallons per day:


(Source: New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Survey Results, 1997)

Source Video Compliments of Concord General Services