When I got a call from Estelle Remilard, she had concerns about her water bill and the rise in cost. She was convinced something was leaking, and she stated, “It’s got to be underground because I don’t see any water leaking.” I’m confident every plumbing leak detection pro has heard this line before. The only way to come to a complete conclusion on it is to perform a thorough leak detection.

when I arrived at Estelle’s home i made sure everything was off. Nothing in the house was pulling water or running so I checked the meter at the street. There was zero movement on the meter, so in theory, there isn’t a leak on the property. this doesn’t mean I stopped there.

I ran through the process of shutting the house, checking the line from the street and reopening the valve to the house. Still no movement on the meter. I even ran her sprinkler system from the garage to see that it was acting as expected, and there seemed to be no issues. I noted that they had it set to run 3 days a week for 20 minutes per zone. It seemed a little excessive for the amount of lawn they had, but I moved on and kept it in the back of my head.

water bill rise

I entered the house and began my process. I listened on valves and handles in 2 and a half baths, under sinks, in the laundry, even on the fill line to the refrigerator – nothing. Quiet as a dead mouse.

When I was finishing my leak detection, Mr. Remilard came in the house with their three children from a well distanced soccer practice. Three girls, all soccer players. The first thing they did was invade the kitchen and started filling their water bottles. This raised my eyebrows.

I asked the Remilard’s if this was a daily event, Estelle confirmed. She said that since Covid restrictions took effect, everyone is home and they try to get outside daily so the girls don’t feel cooped up. I asked bout other changes since they’ve all been home on a regular basis and Mr. Remilard told me that among the things he’s altered being home, he set the lawn sprinkler system to 20 minutes from 10 and added a day of the week to run it; he’s been planting flowers in the landscape beds.

Now I got to break the news to them. There are no leaks on their property. However, the girls filling large water bottles all day, the increase in zone time for the sprinklers and the fact that everyone is in the house all day means more bathroom use, more kitchen use and I would have to assume that if the girls are playing soccer every day – more laundry use. No, there was no leak – but there was a pretty big increase in water use since the time they noticed the bill rising. The answer isn’t a leak repair, it’s conservation where applicable.

I still got paid for my job, and thanked for opening their eyes to what was going on. However, just because you don’t see meter spin, and even when no puddling or leaking is visible, it still takes a proper and through leak detection to accurately identify if there is or isn’t a leak on the property. Do the job properly and charge reasonably, and know that just because there wasn’t a leak found, you still did your job.

Learn about the equipment and training LeakTronics provides and you can serve customers in your community who suspect leaks on their properties. Visit www.leaktronics.com today!