About a month ago, our utility company notified us that we had a water leak somewhere on our property. The fun part of home ownership right? We left it in the back of our mind since nothing jumped out as “THIS IS A LEAK”, until we received our utility bill and noticed that we were charged $70 more than usual! The leak was unfortunately real. We had no prior experiences in dealing with water leaks, so we googled instructions on “how to locate a water leak”, and tried to follow along.
Locating the Water Shutoff Valve(s)
Most websites told us to first locate the main shut-off valve to determine whether the leak was inside the house or outside, but oftentimes the instructions were vague and confusing. Especially since there is a difference between warm-weather water system and cold-weather water system.
For warm-weather water system, which seems to be the system used around greater Seattle area, there will typically be two shutoff valves: one by the water meter, and another near the house. The one by the water meter shuts off water service from the city. If there was a leak before the water service reaches the meter, it would be the city’s responsibility to fix. The other shut off valve located near or in the house disconnects the water service going into the house, but does not impact the water service running through the yard.
“How to Locate Your Gas Shutoff Valve and Water Shutoff Valve” by The Family Handyman actually did a very good job illustrating the systems.