How to Do a Water Meter Leak Detection Test

If you have a leak, you’ll want to know right away. Plumbing leaks can cause an incredible amount of damage. If the leak is serious, the damage will happen quickly, but often times these leaks are so small they’re almost impossible to discover. That is, until it’s too late and they’ve caused everything from rotted wood in your walls to mold-covered drywall and even issues with your home’s foundation. When you think you might have a leak and you need to know right away, you’ll want to schedule a leak detection service as soon as possible.

However, if you’re uncertain whether or not you should call a professional, there are some things you can do to confirm whether or not you might have a leak problem before reaching out. And they’re easier than you may have ever thought—you probably already have the tools and supplies you need.

How to Conduct a Water Meter Leak Detection Test

A water meter leak detection test is the simplest way to figure out if you have a leak in your plumbing system. Essentially, the principle is a simple one: if you “plug” every hole in your plumbing system and your water meter is still showing water moving through, then there’s clearly an unexpected place where water escaping, thus indicating the presence of a leak. All you need to conduct this test is a pair of pliers and knowledge of where your water meter is (as well as any tools you might need to get access to it).

Step 1: Shut Off All Water Fixtures & Faucets in Your Home

The first thing you need to do is go around to every single water fixture in your home and shut it off. And we mean all of them. Most people think about the obvious things like their toilets, water filters, and other appliances. However, people often forget that they need to shut off their faucets, their irrigation system, and more. If one of your taps is missing a handle, you may need to use pliers to turn the water connection tap off completely to make sure the connection is shut off, turn the faucet on and alleviate the pressure—if the water stops dripping, then the water connection is shut off. And, once again, you need to do this for every water fixture in your home. Be careful, as it is incredibly easy to miss one.

Step 2: Locate Your Water Meter & Check It

Your water meter is exactly like your electric meter: it will continue to turn when water flows through it. Most water meters are so sensitive that even a small amount of water continually flowing through the meter itself will cause it to turn. That makes it a great indicator to tell you if water is running somewhere in your home. Thus, if you have shut off every water feature in your home, you should be able to find your water meter and it shouldn’t be turning. If it still is, then you know you have an issue. Verify one more time that absolutely everything in your home is shut off properly before re-checking your water meter—if you do, and the meter still continues to turn, then you have a leak and should call for help right away.

If the water meter leak detection test uncovers evidence that you might have a leak, do not turn your water back on immediately. However at this point you should find your main water emergency shutoff valve and use it to turn off your home’s water input. Once you have done this, turn one faucet or fixture back on and open both the hot and cold water taps to alleviate pressure in your water lines. The lack of water pressure coming from your main line along with the opened valve should stop water from escaping through your leak. That should give you the opportunity to get professional help for your leak and get the issue fixed as soon as possible.

If you suspect you have a leak in your plumbing, call EnviroSafe Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Water Treatment at (856) 878-2806 and let us investigate the issue for you right away!