How to Detect a Leak  |  How to Read Your Meter  |  Water Conservation Tips  |  Water Pressure Regulators


How to Detect a Leak

Faucets: Periodically, check faucets in the bathroom and kitchen for drips or seepage at the neck, handle or the under counter connections.

Toilets: Toilets need to be checked regularly for leaks. The most common causes of a leaking toilet are:

  1. Float device set too high, which causes water to run into the overflow tube
  2. A warped, cracked or obstructed flapper

Inexpensive toilet leak kits are available at home improvement stores.

Sprinkler Systems: Broken sprinkler heads or damaged underground pipes are common sources of sprinkler system leaks. Watch your system carefully at least once per month to spot problems early. Do-it-yourself books with easy to follow instructions are available at home improvement stores and local libraries.

Use Your Water Meter to Detect Leaks:

  • Make sure no water is being used inside or outside (no washing machine, dish washer, faucet, toilet, sprinkler, etc.)
  • Locate your water meter box. Carefully remove the cover & lift the top of the meter.
  • Find the leak indicator on the face of the meter register. If all of your water sources are off and the leak indicator is rotating, you have a leak. Leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water in just a few days. Water leaks are not just costly, they are a waste of one of our most valuable resources. Repair leaks promptly and report it to the Customer Service Department at 1-877-511-2911.

How to Read Your Meter

Residential Customers: Customarily the water meter is located at the front of the property near the street under ground. To reveal your meter, raise the center lid on the meter box.

Commercial Customers: Depending on the size of the commercial property, the meter will be in a large concrete box or could be locked in an underground vault. If in a vault, do not attempt to obtain a reading. Contact Integra Water, LLC , to obtain a reading of the meter. Customer Service 1-877-511-2911.

Understand Your Water Meter: The Meter Number is located on the outer cover of the dial—raise the dial cover to reveal the face of the meter register

  1. Place Holder (Insignificant number)
  2. Meter Register (Odometer)
  3. Flow Indicator
  4. Leak Indicator

Note: Meter brand, face style and locations may vary. Pictures are intended for illustration purposes only.

To Determine Water Usage:

  • Select a day to take initial reading
  • Write down the numbers on the register
  • After a period of time (8-24 hrs) get another reading from the meter
  • Subtract your first reading from the second
  • This figure will indicate how many gallons of water has been used in the designated time period.

Water Conservation Tips

Indoor Water Use

Tips in the Bathroom:

  • Install a low-flow showerhead.
  • Install a high efficiency toilet.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath.
  • Never use the toilet to dispose of trash.
  • Do not run water constantly while brushing teeth.

Outdoor Water Use

In the summer, outdoor water use can account for 60% or more of total water use.

  • Water lawns early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid up to 60% evaporation loss during the heat of the day.
  • Utilize rain water by purchasing a rain barrel or cistern and collect the water from your gutters to water plants.
  • Set sprinkler heads so the lawn is watered, not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.
  • Approximately 1” to 1 1/2 “ of water per week is sufficient to maintain lawns in the southeast. Although there may be some loss of the green color, the root system is often alive and healthy.
  • Wash vehicles using a handheld hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle & a 5 gallon bucket.
  • For children’s play, rather than allowing play under a free running garden hose or individual sprinkler, fill a wading pool and shut off garden hose.

Additional Tips:

  • Know where your master water shut-off valve is located in case a pipe bursts.
  • Insulate your hot water heater and pipes to avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot—save energy too!
  • Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. At a drip rate of 1 drop per second, you can waste 2,700 gallons per year , adding cost to your water and sewer bill.

Water Pressure Regulators

What is a Pressure Regulator? Also called water pressure reducing valves, they are compact, inexpensive regulators that perform two functions:

  1. they automatically reduce the high incoming water pressure from the mains to provide a lower, more functional pressure for distribution in the home;
  2. they “regulate” by maintaining a set pressure in the home usually 50 lbs. –thereby insuring that the home piping and appliances operate under a safe, more moderate, but satisfactory pressure.

What is Water Pressure? When a fixture in a home is opened and water flows from it, it is because the water is “pushed.” This “push” is pressure. The speed at which water flows from the opened outlet depends on the amount of “push” or pressure, which exists at that time in the system. In short, the higher the pressure, the stronger the “push” behind the water.

How do I know if I have high water pressure? A rule of thumb is: If you hear banging pipes in your home or observe water splashing in your sink, you probably have excessive pressure. However, for a precise reading, your local plumbing contractor can test your pressure with a gauge.

Does high water pressure cause "water hammer"? Yes, and water hammer is very simply the noise generated by the shocks of high-speed water flowing in a pipe when a fixture is suddenly closed. The sudden stoppage causes a "bounce-back" of the water and is called water hammer, causing banging pipes, noise systems and damage to appliances. It might be compared to driving your car at slow speed into a wall where the effect is negligible. However, if you drove the car at a much higher speed, the impact would be greater and, consequently, so would the bounce-back or shock. This principle is based on the fact that moving objects, and this includes water, tend to move in a straight line. They resist changes in direction. Therefore, in a home where the piping has many changes in direction, water hammer shock can be limited by reducing the water pressure.

How can I get a Water Pressure Regulator installed? The easiest way would be to call your local qualified plumbing contractor who can provide you with an estimate and also advice of the various type regulators available and the one best suited for your home. Although regulators are fairly simple to install and could be a do-it-yourself project, there are some laws which provide that only a licensed plumbing contractor be permitted to work on the home potable drinking water system for health and safety purposes.

A Water Regulator is a Primary Conservation Control Most people have considered regulators as pressure controls because they are used to protect appliances and piping from the effects of high water pressure. However, because of water and energy shortage and cost problems, regulators have become increasingly more important because they automatically provide the advantage of conserving water and energy. The water pressure regulator is the nub of a conservation program; but you should also consider flow control devices, low-flush toilets, improved water heating equipment and better disciplined habits by the user. However, if none of these devices were installed, the water pressure regulator would still serve to contribute important and significant savings in energy and water.