Check for Leaks

How much water is wasted?

Even a small leak can add up to big water waste. Check the following chart that shows the amount of water than can be lost (and billed to your account) for various size leaks:

Leak Size Gallons/Day Gallons/Month
Drip 15 450
1/32 inch 264 7,920
1/16 inch 943 28,300
1/8 inch 3,806 114,200
1/4 inch 15,226 456,800
1/2 inch 60,900 1,827,000

How do I check for water leaks?

Look at the water usage on your utility bill. Compare your current usage to the same months of previous years. Unusually high water usage may indicate a leak.

Check your water meter. Write down a meter reading, and check it again a few hours later (make sure not to use any water while performing this test). Be sure to securely reattach the lid to prevent trip hazards.

Try a slow leak test. With all water off in your home, check the small triangular-shaped dial located on your water meter for a few minutes. The dial will move or spin if there is a leak. Small or slow leaks will cause the dial to spin very slowly while more significant leaks will cause the dial to turn quickly.

Check for toilet leak. A toilet that continues to run after being flushed can waste up to 200 gallons a day. You will be able to hear or see some toilet leaks, but some leaks are less obvious. You can check for a toilet tank leak by adding several drops of food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. While supplies last, the City of Grand Prairie is offering residents free leak detector dye tablets for toilets. Pick up the free tablets at City Hall East, 300 W. Main St., at the Utility Customer Service counter (ask for Sylvia Salazar).

Check faucets, showerheads and outside hose bibs. A dripping faucet, showerhead or hose bib can waste 20 gallons or more of water a day. Fixing a leaky faucet may be as simple as replacing worn washers and gaskets. If your showerhead is leaking, it may be time to replace it.

Check your laundry water supply valve. Leaks in the laundry supply can drip unnoticed down the laundry drain.

Check your in-ground irrigation system for damage. This is especially important before turning the system back on for the spring and summer irrigation season and after mowing your lawn.

Watch for soggy spots in your yard or uneven plant growth. This might be a sign of a leak in your underground water pipes.

Visually inspect the foundation of your house. Standing water around the foundation could mean your underground pipes have become damaged.

Look out for algae. A buildup of algae on the ground or walls around the outdoor spigot may be the result of an undetected leak.

Pay attention to pool levels. Use a grease pencil to mark the desired water level, watch for a drop of 6 inches or more per month. This amount typically indicates a leak. Be sure to check the pumps as well as the area around the water pump for any signs of escaping water.