The best things in life are free… well, they might be!

Seems like nowadays, in some way or another, you pay for the water you use and even the air you breathe.

However, we don’t seem to mind paying our water bills because a) they’re necessary and b) they don’t really amount to all that much, do they?

But, when you get a water bill that shows a big jump up from what you usually pay, it’s bound to leave you baffled.

You might have been ignoring certain signs of water leaking in your home, but when that water bill takes a nasty jump it can still be a really ugly surprise. If there haven’t been any precursors, then it’s time to turn on the detective mode because there may be possible hidden leaks in your house.

Use the water meter

If you haven’t seen any visible leaks, you might first consider there’s an error with your water meter. Although it is possible, such a mistake rarely happens. So, before you consider filing a complaint with the water department, it’s better to verify things at your end first.

Whether you suspect a hidden leak or not, follow this simple procedure to be 100% sure.

  • Turn off all faucets in your house. This includes all valves including those of the washing machine, water heater, and any other home appliances that are connected to a water supply. Don’t forget about your outdoor spa, hot tub or pool, if you have them. Consider anything that runs water through it, even your refrigerator icemaker.
  • Find your water meter. It is usually located in the footpath at the front of your house.
  • Notice the dials on the meter. Are they moving? If the answer is “yes,” then you have proof that there is a major hidden leak somewhere in your house or on your property. If the dial doesn’t appear to moving, wait for some time before you make a final decision.
  • Small leaks will not visibly move the meter at first glance. Note the initial reading on the meter after you have closed all the valves and taps. Wait about 30 minutes to an hour and then take another reading. Wait longer if you feel the need.
  • An increase of even one digit on the second reading means that there is a leak of some kind somewhere.

Watch out for other signs

Before the need for drastic measures arise and before you receive a costly bill, it is much more beneficial to periodically check the pipelines. Also, keep out an eye for other signs or possible water damage resulting from leaks.

Wet areas or dark patches on ceilings and/ or walls signify there is a leak in that place or very close by.

If the structure of your house is wooden, you will notice the wood turning a darker shade in some areas. And if the house is made of concrete, then the paint on your walls will likely flake and start to chip off.

Any unusual noises coming from the plumbing system such as constant hissing sound can denote a significant leak.

Low water pressure is another sign that there might be a leak in your pipeline.