Straight from the Tap

How to Detect Plumbing Leaks


This week is the U.S. EPA’s annual Fix a Leak Week. Fix a Leak Week is an opportunity for us at Cleveland Water to empower our customers with information on how to find and fix household leaks.

If left unchecked, leaks can run up unnecessary charges on your water bill and cause damage to your property. But you can protect your home and your wallet with a few simple steps.

The easiest way to know if you have a leak is to sign up for the Cleveland Water web portal. Customers who create an account at automatically receive alerts of potential leaks.

You can also check for a leak in your home by following these simple steps:

  • Turn off anything that uses water inside or outside your home.
  • Check for signs of a leak around faucets, toilets, water heaters, etc. Look for puddles of water, drips, or other signs of moisture; listen for a running toilet.
  • Find your meter. This is typically located in your basement, or in a small pit at the front of your property. On the meter, locate the blue star, white triangle, or red circle-shaped test wheel on the register face.
  • If the test wheel is spinning even though no water on your property is being used, you most likely have a leak somewhere.

If you do have a leak, determine if it is inside or outside by performing the following steps:

  • Locate your home's main shut off valve and shut off the water at the valve. Typically, you will find the shut-off valve in your basement or crawl space.
  • Again, check the test wheel for movement, making sure no water is being used. If the test wheel stops moving, then you have a leak inside the house. If the test wheel continues to move, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.

If you are unable to locate the leak, you may need to call a plumber.