Detect a Water Leak

Determine If You Have A Leak

If you suspect a water leak and you have a new smart water meter, one of the easiest ways to detect leaks is to login to ACWD’s My Smart Water Connect online portal to see if there are any alerts or unexpected consumption. (You will be able to tell if you have a smart meter if the meter box lid is plastic, or you see a 3-inch black circle in the lid. Please do not attempt to lift the lid as this may damage the wiring.)  

If you have a meter that has been upgraded to a new smart water meter, instructions on how to check for leaks can be found here

If you have a meter that has not yet been upgraded, one option is to observe your water meter.

  • Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances, such as the ice maker, dishwasher and clothes washer.
  • Locate your water meter (PDF) and lift the cover to see the meter dial. Lift the lid carefully in case you have had a smart meter installed as the wiring may get damaged with excessive force. If you see a wire connecting the meter to an endpoint (transmitter), carefully replace the lid and login to ACWD’s My Smart Water Connect online portal where you can see your consumption and any alerts.
  • If the needle is moving, you may have a leak.
  • If the needle appears to be still, record the meter reading or mark the needle position with a pencil or piece of tape.
  • Keep the water off. Wait at least 15-30 minutes. (Make sure nobody turns on a water-using appliance).
  • Reread the meter gauge or check the needle location again. If the needle has moved, you could possibly have a leak somewhere in your system.

Determine If Your Leak Is Inside Or Outside Your House

First, determine you have a leak using the steps outlined above. If you have a leak, follow these steps.

  • Shut off the main water valve to the inside of your house.
  • Return to the water meter and lift the cover to see the meter dial.
  • If the needle appears to be still, record the meter reading or mark the needle position with a pencil or piece of tape.
  • Keep the water off. Wait at least 15-30 minutes. (Make sure nobody turns on a water-using appliance).
  • If the needle has moved and the water is shut off to the house, you have a leak somewhere outside of the house.
  • If the meter has not moved and the water to the house is shut off, your leak is somewhere inside the house.

Possible Leak Causes