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How to check for water leaks and identify the location
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One of the best ways to tell if you have a leak in some part of your plumbing is to check the water meter. - photo by Photo Contributed

Early detection of a water leak can save you money and avert potential disaster. If you think you may have a leak, follow the steps below to confirm and identify its source.
One of the best ways to tell if you have a leak in some part of your plumbing is to check the water meter. To do this, you will first need to turn off all the water in your home. Shut off all faucets, and make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are not running. Next, watch the small white triangle in the center of the meter to see if it is moving. If it does, you likely have a fast-moving leak. If the meter doesn't change immediately, wait two hours and check it again. If it has moved despite all the water being off, you may be dealing with a slower leak. The leak could be anywhere after the meter, or even underground.
Leaks don't just happen inside the home; they occur outside as well. Check your outside spigots by attaching a garden hose; if water seeps through the connection while the hose is running, replace the rubber hose gasket and check to see all connections are tight. Consider calling a professional once a year to check your irrigation system if you have one. A system with even a small leak could be wasting thousands of gallons of water per month.
Step 1- Find the house (main) shut-off valve on the water supply riser, generally located in the front or on the side of the house below the hose bibb, and turn to the "off" position.
Step 2- Look at your plumbing setup. Do you see any water supply lines that bypass the house shut-off valve? If so, turn the shut-off valve to the "off" position as well. Note: a small amount of water may "squirt" from the backflow prevention device when you turn "off" the valve.
Step 3- No other areas of your property should have water flow. To verify you may want to:
• Turn on a house faucet. Water flow should stop.
• Run your irrigation controller. You should not have water flow to the landscape.
• Press or push the auto-fill as if to trigger water flow into the pool. No water flow should occur.
Step 4- Turn the shut-off valve(s) back to the "on" position.
The City of Turlock Home Water Survey Kit can help you determine your water use as well as learn ways to save water inside and outside your home or business. The Home Water Survey Kit shows users how to read their water meter and use it to:
• Detect for leaks
• Evaluate if landscape is being irrigated appropriately
• Assess the efficiency of water fixtures and appliances
• Identify water saving opportunities
• Receive free water conservation devices by completing and returning the "Survey Results Response Form" to the Municipal Services Department.
To find out more about leak detection, or to order a Home Water Survey Kit Contact the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department at 209-668-5590 or online at Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.

Check for toilet leaks: Toilets are notorious for their silent leaks and can steal thousands of gallons of water. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Do not flush. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within about 10 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts, especially the flapper valve. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. Flush immediately after completing test, since food coloring may stain the tank.