I have noticed my water bill reflecting increased consumption the past few
months, but now it has peaked and I know that we aren't using 11,000 gallons
between two people. The past year I was barely breaking 5,000 except in
June when I used the built-in sprinklers.
I turned off all water devices in the house and checked the main--the meter
is still turning. I also shut off the sprinkler supply at the main--still
Certainly I would notice 6,000 gallons of water if it were leaking in my
house so it would have to be being drained or leaking into the ground. I
have checked everything in the house and there are no leaks.
What are your suggestions as next steps? How do I test if the pipe from the
main to the house is leaking? Should I call a pro, etc?
Geez...200 gallons a day? I'd think if it was an underground leak, the part of
the yard where you sink up to your armpits would be a good hint.
You sure the meter isn't bad? There's not much to them, but gremlins are
Do you have a crawlspace? Does it look a bit wetter than usual?
Sure, there are ways to test for that leak.
But...I would start with a call to the utility to see if they
have suggestions or will come out and investigate for you.
At the same time you can ask what requirements you must meet
when replacing the lateral service.
Here is some more info in response to some of the posts:
I called the water service and they said that they can send someone out to
investigate. I turned off all devices in the house---meaning the cut-off
valves to toilets and anything else, and the meter still turns.
There is an area around where the main is that is a little greener than the
rest of the yard, but I don't know if it is significant enough to be b/c of
the leak, or coincidence since that part of the yard has a tree that
protects the grass better during the hot texas months. Also, does this
matter in "winter" anyway?
I had two pampas plants in both sides of my drive in San Antonio, Texas.
Ran into the same thing, Water folks said the meter was accurate and
upon some investigation noted that the pampas plant on the meter side
was somewhat bigger than that other. Had an excellent plumber who stood
outside my garage and found the leak in a matter of minutes by
listening. I couldn't hear niagara falls if I stood on the edge!
Fortunately the water company agreed that upon getting it fixed they'd
split the bill......
I found a similar leak by listening to the pipes.
Turn off everthing in the house in the middle of the night (less nois
from overhead planes and road traffic)
start in the basement and listen to the drain pipes
if there is water leaving the house via a drain, it will make a trickl
sound as it hits the bottom of the drain.
follow the sound back to the source.
I found a laundry tap left on only enough to feed a bleeder line.
Nothing in the laundry tub.
Could be a dishwasher, water softener, refrigerator with wate
connection, or toilet.
clare in brampton
My last bill was double.I called the water company and they said it had been
estimated due to the snow and that I should just send the regular amount.
Something you might want to check.
11,000 for three months for two people is probably about right. 122 Gallons
per day. For example, from
"A typical household in Connecticut uses 200 gallons of water a day, said
John Mullaney, an East Hartford-based USGS hydrologist who worked on the
Better yet, go here:
I used it and came up with the 120 gal per day that we do indeed use.
I have 2 grownups and 2 teenagers(think 2 showers a day!)in the house and we
use 6-7 thousand gallons a month.
The 11,000 gallons was for ONE month.
Okay, here is where we are today. I found the house main cut-off and turned
it off. When I do that, the meter stops running. I wasn't expecting this,
I really thought I would find a leak in the ground between the city main and
the house main.
No toilets are running, I shut them off and the meter still crept. I turned
off the HW heater, didn't do anything (the drain was dry anyway...200Gallons
a day, it would be noticable.)
Well...I will keep trucking, certainly interesting.
6000 gal/30 day/24 hr/60 min --> ~ 1 pt/min if I followed your thread
your <losing> 6k gal in a month above long-term usage.
That's the size of leak you're looking for...toilet flappers could do
it, but I'd think they would be evident. Not know what all you got,
don't have much else specific...
Exactly. When I shut off the house main, the meter stops. I have outdoor
faucets that run off the sprinkler system and are direct from the city main.
I turned on one of the faucets to emulate the speed of the meter turning to
see how much of a leak I am looking for--it is really slow---just adds up
Well--After checking the entire house again, turning off every single water
cut-off--not sure what else to do. I agree the meter is fine, since it does
stop when the house main is off. I don't hear a leak, I don't see signs of
water anywhere in the house, and I if I didn't see that meter turning with
my own eyes, I wouldn't believe there to be a problem.
I have an additional home insurance policy (American Home Shield) that
covers plumbing issues--so I opened up a service ticket with them. We'll
get a pro in here and see what he comes up with.
Thaks for your suggestions---you all helped me troubleshoot as much as I
I have a flat-slab house. Had a major failure of a half-inch line under the
slab one night that brought water up between the slab and the footing and
flooded the carpet. If it had been as small as your leak, it probably would
have drained through the soil and never become apparent in my total usage.
Don't know if this has any bearing on your situation, but you might want to
look at the possibility of any buried pipe between the house cutoff and the
house -- or any other buried pipe beyond that cutoff. --- SJF
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