How to Test for A Water Leak in Your Home

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  3 min read

Well, I just got my water bill, did you? We know that your water bill always seems expensive, but did you have an unusually high water bill this month? If so, it may be due to a leak.

If you’re not sure if you have a leak, there are a few tests you can easily run to find out.

Check Your Home’s Water Usage

To check to see if your home has a water leak you can either read your water meter before going to bed for the night and read it again in the morning to see if the reading changed or turn off all fixtures and appliances that use water and check the leak detector indicator (the red triangle on your water meter) for movement. There is a leak if it continues to move even though all water fixtures and appliances are turned off.

Check Your Toilets

The most likely place for a leak is the toilet. If you see that you are using water when your water fixtures and appliances are off, or if you just want to be doubly sure, you can test your toilets to find out if they are leaking.

To check for leaks in your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring or a cold cup of black coffee to the water in the tank. Wait a few minutes. If, without flushing the toilet, the color appears in the bowl your toilet has a leak that should be repaired immediately.

Check Your Faucets and Showerheads

To check for leaks, make sure the sink or tub is dry, insert the plug into the drain, wait, check the sink or tub from time to time. You have a leak if water starts to pool in the sink or tub.

Don’t forget to check all bathrooms, the kitchen, and outside taps.

There’s a Leak Somewhere, Now What Do I Do?

If you discover a leak, you’re likely going to have to call a professional unless you have confidence in your ability to do a DIY plumbing fix.

The good news is that even if you do need to call a plumber, finding the leak before you make the call can save time and money, so have a look and try to identify the problem if you can. If you can’t find the problem, a qualified plumber with the proper tools and experience can usually pinpoint the issue quickly and will help you save a ton of money in water waste and bigger problems down the road.

Have you experienced a leak in your home before? What was it and how much did it cost you? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll play a game of who had the most expensive leak.


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.