The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

Find & Fix Household Leaks

Did you know your family can waste an average of 11,000 gallons of water every year due to sources you may not even notice, such as running toilets, dripping faucets, leaking sprinkler systems, or other sources of household leaks.  To save valuable drinking water, not to mention money on your monthly water bill, consider the following tips for finding and fixing leaks at your home or business.

Leaks throughout your property

Check your latest water bill to determine your water usage (volume).  If a family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons, there may be significant leaks that need to be located.  To diagnose potential leaks, check your water meter during a two-hour period when no water is being used in the house.  (Or, turn your water off at the main valve.)  Take a reading before and after that two-hour period of no use.  If your meter has changed at all, you probably have a leak.

Leaks at the toilet

Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank.  If any color shows up in the toilet boil after about 15 minutes, you have a leak.  (Be sure to flush the tank afterward to prevent your toilet from being stained by the food coloring.)  A common reason for toilet leaks is due to an old or worn out toilet flapper, which can be replaced cheaply and easily.  If that doesn't do the trick, consult your local home improvement retailer for some free diagnostics.  Remember also that WaterSense, energy smart, or similar fixtures and appliances can save water and more than pay for themselves in the long run.

Leaks at the faucet

Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe, to check for surface leaks.  Replace gaskets and pipe fittings as needed.

Leaks at the showerhead

Leaky showerheads can be fixed easily by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem, using pipe tape if needed.  You may also want to check the "O" ring inside the showerhead and replace it, if needed.

Leaks outdoors

Remember those MWA winterization tips that mentioned the need to drain your sprinkler systems and garden hoses prior to winter freezes?  Well, the results of not doing so can show up in the spring when you want to put that sprinkler system and garden hose back into use.  But before using your sprinkler system for the first time during warmer weather, check to make sure nothing was damaged from a freeze during the winter.  You should be able to see if sprinkler heads are operating properly, and if they are not, seek repairs of damaged parts before continuing use.  Also, check garden hoses for leaks at the connections to the spigot and use pipe tape if needed to solve the problem of a loose connection.

For more information on detecting a leak, check out the EPA WaterSense (Fix-a-Leak) information at


 Water Efficiency and Possible Leak Checklist


--running constantly or filling up unexpectedly


-Shower Heads/ Bath Tub/ Sink Fixtures


-Faucets/ Indoor & Outdoor

--drips or loose water seals


-Water Appliances

--Refrigerator water line

--Ice makers


--Washing Machine

--Hot Water Heater


-Crawl Space/ Damp Walls

--unexplained dampness or visible running water


-Irrigation/Sprinkler system


--Drip Hoses

--Automatic/ manual

--Noticeable breaks or wet ground


-Other Structures

--Pool/ pool house/ spa


--mother-in-law Suite

--water fountain


--automatic watering bowl

--water filtration system


Please note this list does not include all possible locations for leaks, and is provided as a guide to help customers quickly identify possible plumbing issues on their property.


Macon Water Authority
790 Second St.
P.O. Box 108
Macon, GA 31202-0108
(478) 464-5600
(478) 741-9146

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