Possible Leak Causes


Faucet leaks are usually caused by worn washers or "O" rings (for washerless faucets). To repair, turn off the water supply line to that faucet, replace the washer and turn on the line again.


To determine if your toilet is leaking, look at the toilet bowl after the tank has stopped filling. If the water is still running into the bowl, or if you can hear water running, your toilet is leaking.

If you do not see or hear water running, your toilet may have a silent leak. To test for a silent leak, drop a little food coloring into the tank. Do not flush. Wait for about 20 minutes. If the food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, your toilet has a silent leak. It is probably located in or around the plunger ball or flapper valve at the bottom of the tank. These leaks are easy to fix with parts from your hardware or home store.

Irrigation Systems

There are a number of ways to determine if your irrigation system is leaking.

  • Taller, greener vegetation or moss growing around the sprinkler heads are signs of a damaged or dirty valve. Clean grit from valves and replace worn gaskets or seals.
  • Wet spots, mud, and eroding soil may indicate a broken pipe or riser. Dry spots in your lawn could also be a sign that a sprinkler is damaged. To locate the source of the leak, you'll need to dig around the sprinkler. Wet spots or muddy areas around the valves point to a loose connection or aging washers.
  • Wet spots on pavement also indicate possible leaks. Watch your sprinklers in action to determine which one is showering on the pavement. Then turn off the water and check the sprinkler head and riser. Sprinklers sprouting geysers of water indicate broken sprinkler heads. Replace them.

Other Possible Culprits

  • A warm or hot spot on your floor, combined with an increase in your natural gas bill, could indicate a broken hot water pipe in the concrete slab beneath your home. If this is the case, you will probably need to call a plumber to reroute the pipes.
  • Check outside taps for leaking water, particularly during the summer watering season. A hose mistakenly left dribbling away on the grass or garden can waste thousands of gallons of water over the course of the summer.