How to Monitor Home Water Usage

man tightening pipes under sink with large wrench

Water is actually a big expense that could make you groan every time you see your bill. The more you monitor your water and look for ways to reduce your water, the lower that bill is going to get. So what are the best ways to monitor the water you’re using and reduce the amount you’re paying?

Detect a Leak

Pick up pipe tape on Amazon.

The best way to monitor your home water usage is to watch for leaks. After you live in your home for a year, you should have a good idea of how much your water bill costs you on average. You may know that you use more water in the summer, for example, and now you're used to seeing a little spike in the summer months.

But if you notice a spike in your water bill that's unexpected, it's a good indication that you have a leak. This may be an "invisible" leak that is in a pipe that's inside a wall, or under the ground. Not all leaks make themselves known by dripping out of the faucet.

There's a very easy way to check for a leak. Go to the main shut-off valve for your water. This will usually be outside your home, near the street where your main water line connects to the water supply for wherever you live. On rarer occasions, the main shut-off is actually inside the home. Wherever you find it, turn it off. Now go look at your water meter. If your water meter has any movement at all, you have a leak.

outdoor pipe with small leak

Of course, this is a rather old-fashioned way to detect a leak. A DIY method, in a way. Smart technology can actually monitor your home water usage for you and tell you when you have a leak, which is pretty cool. However, this feature of smart water monitoring systems is just an extra perk that makes things easier for you. By paying attention to your water bill, you can monitor for yourself and find out when you have a leak on your own. Smart water monitors can be quicker at detecting leaks, however, and may even be quicker by a few weeks.

Home Monitoring

Another feature of smart home water monitoring systems is the data they collect. They will send information directly to your smartphone through the app. You can see when and where water is being used and get other information that can possibly help you find ways to reduce the water you use.

However, your utility company already monitors your water usage. You can see a breakdown of gallons used, though the information will be nowhere near as extensive as the information provided with a smart monitoring system. You can request a home water audit, which some local governments can give you more information about.

water meters and hands writing number on a piece of paper

Conserving Water

Either way, however, the methods you use to manage your water usage are going to be the same in most cases. Turn off the faucet while you're brushing your teeth. Use the dishwasher! It's actually much more water-efficient than washing dishes by hand.

Upgrade to water-saving faucets and toilets when you can. They really will make a big difference in the amount of water you use.

Put a water barrel outside your home to collect rainwater. Use this to water your outdoor plants.

There are many different ways to conserve water to reduce your home water usage. You can employ any or all of these methods whether you know a lot about the water you're consuming in your home or not.

Smart Systems

Home monitoring systems are cool gadgets that definitely help you up your homeowner game. They do have a lot of cool bells and whistles and if you are die-hard about monitoring your water usage, this can be a useful system. Techies will love it.

Smart home monitoring systems are extremely easy to install. They snap right onto the main water pipe leading into the home or right onto the water meter itself, with no cutting or piping required. They work through wifi to deliver information right to your phone and they provide information in real-time. But if you want to reduce your water usage or detect leaks, there are DIY methods that work just fine, too.

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