Detecting Leaks

Carefully note the meter-reading dates (x) listed on the bill. (x)Note: There is often a delay of a month or more between the period when the water was used until the bill is actually received.)

Checking for leaks should include ruling out any other reasons for high usage. Did any of the following occur during your billing period:

  • Pressure-washing
  • Water Hose Use
  • Holiday House Guests
  • New Sod
  • Pool Cleaning or Refilling

Remember, any appliance that is connected to water could potentially leak.

If these options cannot account for higher usage, check for leaks. The following tabs include simple DIY leak tests to help check for common problems.

Check the Meter's Flow Indicator

Typically, the water meter is located in the front yard, near the street or sidewalk. (You may need a screwdriver, or similar device to assist with removal of the meter box lid.) Have a pencil or pen and some paper handy.

Carefully remove the meter box lid, and set it aside. Then flip the meter lens cap to expose the meter face. (Dirt may need to be removed to expose the meter dial.)

Most meter faces have a flow indicator (small, red or black in color, triangular or snowflake in shape). If there is no water being used at the time of inspection, the flow indicator should be 100% stationary. If the flow indicator is turning, continue directly to Step Number 4 below. (This is a good indication that there may* be a leak somewhere in or around your dwelling.)

Not all leaks are big and clearly noticeable. However, even a small or intermittent leak can add noticeably to your water bill. If the meter does not have a flow indicator -or- the flow indicator is not moving, continue with these steps to further evaluate the situation:

  1. Copy down the numbers (from left to right) on the meter's gallons register.
  2. Note: There are two different styles of residential meters found throughout Pasco County Utilities' service area. Both meters have a "flow indicator" to help identify minor leaks. However, each type of meter is read slightly different. 
  3. Do not use any water for a period of two hours (or overnight).
  4. Take another reading from your meter's gallons register after the two hour testing period, and compare it to the first reading. If the reading is higher, there may* be a water leak. (*Important note: Some household systems such as water softeners and sprinklers can use large amounts of water automatically, as part of normal operation. Therefore, a higher reading does not always indicate a leak.)
  5. To help pinpoint the usage source as inside -or- outside the dwelling, close the house valve (generally located on an ouAbsolute Digital Encoder, Metertside wall where the water line enters the dwelling, or near the water heater). Double-check that the indoor water supply has been turned off by checking a faucet.

If the meter continues to show usage after the house valve has been shut, the issue is likely outside the dwelling. (Examples could include leaks in the service line that leads from the meter to the dwelling, a back-flow prevention device, spigot, sprinkler supply lines, etc...)

If the meter does not move after closing the house valve, there may be an issue somewhere inside the home's plumbing. (Common examples include toilets, water softeners, or pinhole leaks below the slab, etc...) Use a process of elimination to isolate and identify the issue.
Water Softener
Next Steps