How to detect a leak in your home

UT-MEDIUM-fixing toilet pipe leak-660x396.jpg

Undetected leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars a year in lost water and can add up to 350,000 litres of wasted water each year.

Checking for leaks

 To see if you have a leak in your home, follow these steps:

  1. Locate your water meter. You will most likely find it in the basement near the furnace or hot water tank. 
  2. Before you go to bed for the night, ensure that there is no water running. Remember that the humidifier is mounted on the furnace.
  3. Take a reading of your water meter before you go to bed and another early in the morning. Compare results to see if any water was lost during the night. You can also watch the red dial beside the number screen to find a leak. If there is no water running in your house and the red dial is moving, you have a leak.


Leaking faucets often create a trickling sound. Usually a new washer is all you need to repair a leaky faucet. However, not all leaks make noise.

Leaks can flow quietly into the overflow pipe. A small amount of scale, corrosion or even a grain of sand can cause leakage.

Local hardware stores can offer helpful suggestions for leak repair methods and replacement options. You can also visit this website for DIY fixes.


Check your toilet for leaks

  1. Add a few drops of food colouring to the toilet tank. You can also use dye tablets, available from Utilities by calling 780-467-7785 or emailing to request your dye tablets.
  2. Wait 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. If there is dye in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.

Troubleshooting toilet leaks

Problem: The water level in the toilet tank may be too high, causing it to escape through the overflow pipe.

Solution: A simple adjustment to the float arm. Once corrected, the float arm will keep the water about a centimetre below the top of the overflow pipe.

Problem: Sometimes water is wasted when it leaks past the plunger valve from the tank into the bowl.

Solution: Either the flapper valve needs to be replaced, or the valve seat needs cleaning or replacement.

Checking your toilet several times a year for leaks and making repairs quickly means savings on water usage and wastewater treatment. Please do your part to conserve water because every drop counts!

Phone: 780-467-7785

Last updated: Thursday, March 15, 2018
Page ID: 40101