Protect Your Home

Home Tips

Home Tips

Your home is your most important asset. Save money and protect it from potential water damage by heeding these simple tips from Cleveland Water.

Home Tips Tabs

Leak Detection and Prevention

Water leaks are more common than you might think. If left unchecked, leaks can run up unnecessary charges on your water bill and cause damage to your home. But you can protect your home and your wallet with a few simple steps. Download the How to Find & Fix Leaks brochure.

The most common location for home leaks are:
Toilets Faucets Showerheads
Toilet Leak Detection Faucet Showerhead Leak Detection
Potential loss:200 gallons of water per day
If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting as much as 200 gallons of water or more per day. The most common cause of a toilet leak is the flapper valve. Over time, the valve becomes worn out and it does not seal shut anymore. One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. After complete this test, make sure to flush immediately to avoid staining the tank.
Potential loss:3,000 gallons of water per year
A leaky faucet that drips at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. Most faucet leaks can be fixed by checking the washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. Another tip is to replace the aerator. These are inexpensive, available at most hardware stores, and easy to install.
Potential loss:500 gallons of water per year
A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons of water per year. Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using Teflon tape and a wrench. You may also consider replacing an old showerhead. An older showerhead uses 3 to 8 gallons of water while a newer model can use as little as 1.5 gallons per minute.
To check for leaks, take the following steps
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Turn off anything that uses water in your home.
Find your water meter. This is typically located in your basement, or in a small pit at the front of your property
On the meter register, locate the blue star, white triangle, or red circle-shaped test wheel on the register face. If the test wheel is spinning when you are not using any water, you most likely have a leak.

Any leak that occurs on the customer's service line, then it is the responsibility of the customer to fix the leak. This includes the water line that runs from the tree lawn to the water meter, any irrigation systems, and all indoor plumbing. Cleveland Water is responsible for making repairs between the water main in the street and the curb stop.

Customers may not realize they are responsible for the water and sewer lines that run into their home until it is too late. Therefore, Cleveland Water is partnering with HomeServe, Inc to offer protection services to customers so they are not faced with costly and unexpected repairs to their water and sewer lines as well as their in-home plumbing. To find out more about this service, click here.

Cleveland Water also offers a discount for residents who experience an undetected, underground leak and they have it repaired. The service allows the customer to receive an adjusted bill, up to 50% off the excess consumption of one billing term, provided they can submit a Plumbing Repair Statement.


Vacation Preparation

When you leave your home for an extended period of time, turn off the water in your home to minimize the threat of water damage while you’re away.

To turn off your water, take the following steps:
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Locate the “stop and waste” valve located near your meter. Turn it to the “off” position. When you return home, simply turn the valve back to the “on” position.

You can also contact Cleveland Water to turn your water off or on, for a small fee, by calling 216.664.3060.

Winter Preparedness

When temperatures drop below freezing, it is possible for the water meter and water pipes in your home to freeze. Frozen pipes can damage your property and be expensive to repair. Below are some simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of frozen pipes. You can also download our Winterizing Your Plumbing brochure. (versión en Español)

How to Keep Your Water Pipes from Freezing
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses Insulate pipes in unheated areas Seal off access doors and cracked windows
Disconnect and drain hoses Insulate pipes Winter Preparedness
Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe instead of leaving it to freeze. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the spigot or the pipe connected to it. If you have pipes in an unheated garage or crawl space, wrap the pipes with an insulating material, such as a foam tube or heat tape, before temperatures fall. Hardware or building supply stores will have wrapping materials available. Seal places where cold air gets in with caulking or spray foam and repair broken windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes.
Find your master shut-off valve and label it Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing Turn off the water or leave the heat on when you're away
Winter Preparedness Winter Preparedness Faucet Set Thermostat
The master shut-off is typically found where the water line comes into the basement or crawl space from the street. If a frozen pipe bursts, this valve can turn off the water. Turning off your water quickly will limit damage and control costs. A small flow of water running from a bathroom or kitchen faucet during the worst of the cold spell can help prevent water service lines from freezing. The water should be left running through the pipe susceptible to freezing. You can also leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of your house to circulate around plumbing under sinks. If you’ll be away from home for several days, turn the water off and drain the outside faucets. Or, leave your thermostat set at 55 degrees or higher to ensure your home stays warm enough to keep interior plumbing from freezing.

If you think you may have a frozen meter or water line, you need to thaw the pipes as soon as possible. You can try to thaw the pipes yourself by applying heat to the frozen area using a portable heater, heating blanket, or hairdryer. You can also contact a certified plumber to thaw your water lines. If your meter freezes, it can cause flooding and the meter will need to be replaced before you will have water service again. Unfortunately, there is a charge associated with having to replace your meter. If you have any questions about frozen water lines, please contact us at 216.664.3060.