Inside Your Home:
You should start by checking for hidden water leaks. Even a small drip or leak can add hundreds of dollars to your water bill over the course of a year. This is a simple process that does not require any specialized equipment.
- Inspect all indoor faucets and readily accessible pipes. Be sure to remove items from your under-the-sink cabinets to check for signs of mold, dampness, puddles, or watermarks.
- Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the tank of each toilet. Check the bowl in about 30 minutes. If you see color in the water, your toilet is leaking.
- Read your water meter and then avoid using any water for at least two hours. At the end of that time, take a second meter reading. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak.
Outside of Your Home:
Winter weather can take a toll on outdoor plumbing fixtures, so they should be inspected to ensure that they are ready for the spring and summer gardening season.
- Test all of your outdoor spigots to make sure that they function properly and are free of leaks.
- Check any plumbing vents to make sure that they are free of leaves and other debris.
- If you have a lawn irrigation system, inspect the sprinkler heads to ensure that they work properly.
- Check your washing machine, dishwasher, and other water-using appliances for any hoses that are worn, cracked, or bulging.
- Flush your water heater, replace the anode rod, and test the pressure relief valve. Since this involves dealing with extremely hot water, this job is best left to a professional.
- Clean your faucet aerators and shower-heads by soaking them in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove the mineral buildup.
- Replace any dried out or missing caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks.