City of Grosse Pointe Farms

Leak Detection and Prevention

Leaks may seem like a minute problem, but a single leaky toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water every year. By finding and fixing those pesky leaks around the house, not only will you be conserving your water usage, but you’ll also save money on your future bills from the Water Department. Use the following checklist as a guide to help you locate any leaks you may or may not be aware of throughout your home.

Water Meter:

  • Turn off all faucets throughout the house (washing machine hook-ups, bath, etc.) to assure no water is running
  • There is a red triangle located on the top of the meter which will spin around in a circle if water is being used. This can be monitored by a resident and can prove to be very helpful in determining if they have a leak occurring.
  1. Read your meter at night and again in the morning while the water has been off overnight to check for very slow leaks
  2. If you have a water softener, check on a night when you are not recharging


  • Flush your toilet and wait for the tank to stop filling
  • If water is still running into the bowl, it begins to run after it stopped or you can hear it running, your toilet has a leak
  • Most toilet leaks happen at the overflow pipe or the plunger ball inside the tank
  • Overflow pipe: take off the tank lid and flush; the water level should rise to approximately a ½ inch just below the pipe. If it flows over the edge, you are losing water and need to adjust your float level
  • Plunger ball or flapper valve: Leaks involving these parts are often silent leaks. To check, drop a little food coloring in the tank and wait for about ten minutes without flushing. If the food coloring appears in the bowl during that time, you have a silent leak
  • They can often be repaired with parts from your hardware store
  • If your toilet is leaking and you cannot get it repaired right away (or do not know how to repair it), shut off the water valve when you are not using it


  • Check all faucets, showerheads and outside spigots for drips
  • Check for standing water on your basement floor, especially around the water heater, washer, water softener or water meter
If your meter shows you have a leak but you are having trouble locating it, contact us. We can set up an appointment during normal service hours.