top of page

Leaks & Your Meter

Water meter
Accessing water meter
Digital water meter

Check for Leaks

While you're carefully watching your water usage, it's important to make sure that water is not slipping away due to undetected leaks in your system. Here's a simple procedure that can tell you if you have a leak and how much water you're losing.


  • Locate your water meter. It is usually located near the street in front of your home.

  • Read the meter twice – first at night after the day's water use has ended, and again in the morning before any water is used.

  • Subtract the first number from the second reading to tell how much water (if any) leaked out overnight.

  • If you suspect a leak, your pipes and connections should be checked and repaired quickly.


The toilet is a common source of unnoticed leaks. Undetected, hundreds of gallons of water can be wasted each day. Often leaks occur when the toilet is out of adjustment or parts are worn. Listening carefully for the sound of running water is a good way to detect a possible leak. Food coloring or a dye tablet added to the tank will also reveal water leaking into the toilet bowl. Drop it in the tank and don’t flush. If the water in the bowl turns color, you have a leak.

If you suspect a leak and need assistance in determining its location, please call our local office.

Diagnose and Fix a Leaking Toilet

A leaking toilet can be annoying and wasteful. To check if your toilet has a leak, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If coloring is seen in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. To pinpoint the leak, follow these simple steps:

If the tank is not filling with water, the flush ball is not returning to the seat properly.



  • Check to see if the linkage that connects to the trip lever is hung up.

  • If that doesn't work, then the ball needs to be replaced. A flapper ball can replace a worn flush valve ball.


If the tank is full of water, and water is flowing into the overflow tube, then the valve is not shutting off correctly.



  • Lift up on the float ball. If the water shuts off, then the ball is not sitting properly in the tank. This could be caused by two things:

  • The ball has a leak and is full of water. Replace with another ball or flapper.

  • The float ball needs adjusting. Use the screw at the base of the rod to lower the float ball so that the water level is 1/2 to 1 inch below the overflow tube.

  • If water does not shut off when you lift up on the float ball, then the valve itself needs to be repaired or replaced. Repair kits and new valves with easy to follow instructions are available at local hardware stores.


If water is not flowing into the overflow tube, but constantly runs or periodically turns on and off, the flush ball or flapper is not fitting snugly into the flush ball seat.

When seats get old they get pitted and allow water to leak past the seal and down the drain. Minerals and other deposits may also build up on the seat, making it rough.



  • If worn, replace the flush ball or flapper.

  • If the problem persists, the seat can be cleaned with steel wool, covered with a repair seal or replaced.

Turn Off Water

Do you know how to shut off your water if you have a leak in your home or landscape? Customers are responsible for any water that flows through the meter, which is why you should check for leaks periodically and learn how to turn off your water if you find one.

A main line valve turned on
A main line valve turned off

Main Supply line to the House: 
Close the main line valve Clockwise where the line enters the building.

A water meter valve turned on
A water meter valve turned off

At the Meter: 
Open the Water Meter Box that is most likely located near the curb in front of your house. Turn the Shut-off valve clockwise one-quarter turn. Turning it counterclockwise could destroy the valve.

bottom of page