Any water-using device or pipe connection can leak. There is usually some evidence of such problems, but the evidence isn’t always obvious: A toilet leak can be noisy but it can also be rather quiet; a dripping faucet can be overlooked. Checking the water meter can be a good way of finding out if there is a water leak:
- The meter in the basement may have a small (1/4-inch) “leak detector” dial, a blue gear-like fitting visible on the face of the meter with no numbers or markings. If there is any movement of that dial when water isn’t in use, there is likely to be a leak. (Be sure the water softener isn’t cycling and no other water-using appliances are operating when you check this.)
- The meter in the basement shows movement of water through the meter, registering on a digital display, including tenths and hundredths, and often on a one-cubic-foot dial showing the precise amount of water being used. Checking the meter for any change in the display or movement on the dial after a period of time when no water has been used will reveal whether any water is being lost.