Is this a leaking problem

graywings123February 8, 2014

Turned off all the water faucets inside and outside my house, then took a photo of the water meter before I left and as soon as I returned home exactly a week later. Here are the photos:

If I am reading this correctly, it looks like a gallon of water went somewhere in one week. I turned off two of the three toilets but forgot to do the third one.

Am I reading the meter correctly? And is it too little water loss to be concerned with?

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The Badger Meter web site say that is a 10,000,000 gallon readout, which I think means that the highest reading is 9,999,999 gallons. So, I think you lost 10 gallons, or maybe 15+ gallons? You don't have to wait a long time to see if there is a leak, though. That funny red & white thing in the little window is called a tell-tale. It goes around much faster (due to the internal gearing of the measuring mechanism) than the main needle & numbers. If the telltale moves, say within 15 minutes to an hour, you are leaking/running water. I would shut things off again, note the tell-tale and come back in an hour. That should tell you if you actually have a leak. Oh, and IMO, a I wouldn't tolerate a toilet leaking. I'd have to fix it, but I'm that way!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:14PM
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Looks like 10 gallons through the meter in one week. The cost of water is nothing to be concurned about,but what it is leaking on or into might be somthing bad. Run a 5 gallon bucket full to confirm what numbers mean. If farthur tests have similar result and you can't locate the leak,you might consider hiring a leak detect pro. If there is a valve near the house I would close it to see if leak is between there and meter. A leak that size in the yard isn't worth digging up and repairing. Inside a wall or beneath a slab foundation might cause serious trouble.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:02AM
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I'd check every toilet in the house.

A few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait. If you see color in the toilet bowl then there's the culprit.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:12AM
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Thanks for the comments. Will do another test with the tell-tale. Looking at it now, I see it is 10+ gallons in a week.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:41PM
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That is 16 gallons. Did you check to see if the leak detector on the meter is turning?

That is the red star shaped thing on the left face at the 10 o'clock position. It will turn at the least little bit of flow.

Shut off everything in the house and watch the leak detector for about 20 minutes. A very slight move a stop and wait them move and stop, etc is most likely a seeping toilet as most presurized leaks run continuously.

Is it possible somebody used an outside faucet while you were gone?

This post was edited by jcalhoun on Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 19:37

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:34PM
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The meter is graduated in rollers for the 10s and higher and single gallons for the numbers around the face then 10ths of gallons for the hash marks. When the dial makes a complete revolution that is 10 gallons.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:42PM
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That's not a big loss for a week, but it should be zero. It could be just a hose spigot or faucet that is losing a few drops a second, or it could be a leak inside or outside the house, or from an irrigation that isn't shut off for the winter. The issue here is that it could turn into something bigger.

Last year I had a water bill that was just slightly higher than normal, and I ignored it and went on vacation for several weeks. When I got my next bill, it was for $850. It turns out that there was a bad solvent weld in a 10-year old irrigation system supply line that decided to precipitously separate: the water pressure forced the joint apart and I lost almost 4 gallons a minute continuously for over a month...which translated to wasting over 150,000 gallons!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:08PM
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Any news on your leak?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:05PM
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I've ruled out leaking toilets and indoor faucets. I'm going to wait until it is warmer, retest, and start looking at the pipes in the crawlspace and the outdoor faucets.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:18AM
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It could also be a pinhole leak in the supply line underground from your meter to your house.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Thanks, kudzu. That's one of the tests I want to run and probably the first because it's the easiest - to turn off the main valve in the house and then check the meter.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:58AM
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