Use the water meter for your home to detect a water leak. Choose a time when no one is using water and make sure all appliances, including ice makers, are off before taking the initial reading. After one to two hours read the meter again. If the reading has changed, there is a water leak.
Determine if the leak is inside or outside the home by turning off the main shutoff valve. This valve is typically in the basement, garage or outside, under the outside faucet nearest the water meter. Turn the valve to the off position, and test the water meter again. If water still leaks once the valve is off, the leak is outside the home. If the readings remain the same, the leak is inside the house.
Locate leaks outside the home by looking for an area where the grass is greener or the ground is wet and soggy. Once you locate the general area of the leak, use a shovel to excavate the area and expose the leaking pipe.
Inside the home, faucets or toilets are the most common source of leaks. Repair these leaks by replacing the appropriate parts. In homes with slab floors, leaks sometimes occur under the floor. There are several options for repairing these leaks without breaking the concrete, but many require the services of a plumber.