To check for a major water leak, individuals should first turn off all water-using appliances, including sinks, showers, and washing machines, as well as any outdoor equipment that uses water, such as garden hoses. Next, individuals should record the reading on the water meter, wait 15 minutes, and then take a second reading. During the 15-minute interval, no one in the household should use any water. If the meter has recorded water usage after the 15 minutes has elapsed, a significant leak may be present.
While a useful testing method, this protocol is only effective for detecting major leaks, as the water usage from a minor leak will not register on a water meter.