Simple Homeowner Test for Water Leaks

How to find leaks:

Most leaks can be heard or seen, but some are difficult to detect. Your water meter may be your most useful tool in identifying water leaks on your property.

Water Leak Testing & locating pipes diagram

Follow these easy steps to check for unseen leaks:

  • Locate the water meter
  • Locate the water supply shut-off valve for your building. It can be outdoors or indoors and is commonly located where the main water pipe enters the building foundation. In a home, this is often near an outside faucet. (Note: If you do not have a main shut-off valve, have one installed.)
  • Turn off all faucets, outlets and water-using appliances.
  • Note the one-cubic foot dial on the meter. After 30 minutes or more, take another look at the dial. If the dial has moved, you have a leak either inside or underground. Now, close the main shut-off valve. If the indicator stops, your leak is inside the building. Check toilets and faucets. If the indicator continues to move when the shut-off valve is closed, you have an underground leak between the water meter and the shut-off valve, which should be repaired.

Download PDF Print: How To Tips, checking your home for water pipe leaks.

How do I find or locate a “hidden” water leak?

Water Leak Detectives, when you need help finding a tough leakIf you have determined that you have a hidden & unwanted water leak but need a little help locating it…. give us a call! We can pin point it’s location so you can avoid costly guesses or destructive digging in your already established landscape. We take great care to provide accurate locates and follow up after every job!



(206) 316-8646 – Seattle WA

(253) 617-7273 – Tacoma WA

(360) 615-9413 – Enumclaw WA

(360) 350-5574 – Lacey WA

(360) 907-0767 – Vancouver WA


For Additional information, please view our Water Conservation Links page