Find and fix leaks
Leaks are the hidden water wasters in your home. Save water and money by following these leak-finding tips.
How to find leaks
Not sure if you have a leak? Watch this video to find the common sources of home leaks, as well as how to use your water meter as a tool to check for constantly running water.
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Common sources of leaks
Browse the tabs below for information on how to find leaks in common places throughout your home.
Main service line
- Turn off all water inside and outside your home, then check the red or white flow-indicator triangle on your water meter. If it's still moving, you may have a leak.
- Find your water shutoff valve, usually in your front yard near the sewer riser cap, in your garage or in your home's manifold system. Make sure your water is turned off at these sources.
- Go back to your meter and check the flow-indicator triangle. If it is still moving, the leak is most likely underground between the shutoff valve and the water meter. If the triangle has stopped moving, the leak is somewhere else around your home.
- You'll also need to shut off your anti-siphon valve. If the flow-indicator triangle continues to move after the anti-siphon valve has been shut off, your anti-siphon valve may be broken and will need to be repaired or replaced. Anti-siphon valves should be tested once a year.
- Turn off the valves to your irrigation system and check the flow-indicator arrow. If it has stopped moving, you may have a leak in your irrigation system.
- Check your valve box to see if there is any water pooling in or around the box.
- Walk your property to check for pools of water and look for bubbles under your grass where water may have gotten trapped.
- Check your irrigation system for cracked or broken parts. You may want to hire a landscape professional to help with repairs.
More than 20 percent of toilets have a leak; find out if yours is among them. To figure out if your toilet is leaking, start by listening. Does your toilet sound like it’s running all day (continuous trickling)? Or does it sound like your toilet is refilling periodically (phantom flushing)?
With so many types of faucets on the market, the best source of repair information for a specific product may be the manufacturer's website. However, most faucets have a similar assembly with the same basic parts.
Repair kits can be purchased at your local hardware store. The kit should include a special adjusting ring wrench, seals, springs and O-rings. Also, washer assortment kits may be more cost-effective than buying washers individually.
Most softeners have a bypass lever. Turn the lever to allow water to bypass the softener. Check the flow indicator at the water meter. If the flow indicator is no longer moving, you have isolated the leak to your softener (you also can check for leaking swamp coolers, water-cooled air conditioners, ice machines and reverse-osmosis units by turning the bypass lever on each and checking the meter).
If you are not able to find the leak, you may want to consider contacting a professional plumber to locate and fix the leak. If you find a simple leak, like your toilet flapper or kitchen faucet, you may want to fix the problem yourself.
For more information, call the Conservation Help line at 702-258-SAVE.
Pools and spas
One of the easiest ways to test your pool for leaks is to perform a bucket test.
How to perform a bucket test
- Turn off the automatic fill valve.
- Place a bucket on a step where the bucket rim is at least a few inches above the water line.
- Place a heavy weight in the bucket and add water until the water level inside the bucket is equal with the water in the pool.
- Leave the bucket in the pool undisturbed for several days, then compare the water level in the bucket to the water level in the pool. If the water level in the bucket is noticeably higher than the water level in the pool, you may have a leak in your pool. Contact a pool leak detection specialist for more help.
Hire an expert🔧
Do you have a leak in or around your home? Hire a qualified plumber in Southern Nevada who can assist with issues associated with leaks. Water Smart Plumbers have been trained in water efficiency through free, SNWA-sponsored workshops.
Home water audit
It can be difficult to know where you're using the most water. Are you using the correct amount on your landscape? Could you have a leak? Attend a free class to learn how to perform a home water audit.
You also can use one of our free indoor water audit kits so you can test your fixtures. Call the Conservation Helpline at 702-258-SAVE or submit an online request. Kits include:
- Kitchen faucet fixture
- Bathroom sink aerators (2)
- Water flow testing bag
- Leak detection tablets
- Thread-sealing Teflon tape
- Water-efficient shower head
Note: Indoor water audit and retrofit kits are limited to one per household. Only residential customers of a Southern Nevada Water Authority member agency are eligible. Kits are not mailed out of state.