The third week of March is Fix A Leak Week, promoted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA). According to the EPA, 10% of homes in the US have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more each day. Household leaks alone account for 1 trillion wasted gallons of water each year. The EPA promotes Fix A Leak Week to encourage homeowners to take an active role in finding water leaks inside and outside of their homes to help conserve water.
Most of the leaks in our homes are small, slow leaks that can sometimes be difficult to notice. But those small, slow leaks can add up. Finding the sources of leaks in your home and correcting them can save you an average of 10% on your monthly water bill.
How To Determine If You Have A Leak
- First, find a time when you can dedicate two hours to not using any water in your home.
- Check the reading on your water meter at the start. (Your meter might be on the side of your house, or it might be under a cover in your yard.)
- Two hours later, after no water was used, check your water meter again. The reading on the meter should stay the same. If there was any change on the meter, then there is probably a leak source somewhere in your home.
Common Leak Sources
- Toilets – Over time the rubber flapper in your toilets can wear out or get mineral build up that prevent them from sealing completely. If you think a leaking toilet might be the culprit, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If any of the coloring shows up in the bowl of the toilet after 10 minutes without flushing then you have a leak. (Flush immediately after to avoid staining your tank or bowl.)
- Faucets – Check all of the sink and bathtub faucets for drips. Rubber washers and gaskets in faucets can also wear out over time. A faucet that drips at the rate of 1 drop per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water per year.
- Hose Spigots – An outdoor spigot that was not properly winterized has the potential to freeze during the cold winter months and burst. If the connection to the hose leaks when in use, replace the nylon or rubber gasket to get a tight seal with your hose.
- Shower Heads – Your shower head needs a tight connection to prevent leaks. A shower head that drips even 10 drops in a minute can waste over 500 gallons of water per year.
- Water Lines and Valves – Look under sinks and behind toilets to be sure there is no water on the outside of the water supply lines or shutoff valves. Check your washing machine and dishwasher as well for any water dripping. Look at any exposed pipes in your basement or crawl space for leaks.
- Irrigation Systems – You should have any outdoor irrigation systems checked each spring by a certified irrigation professional to ensure there are no leaks that developed due to freezing over the winter.
If You Find A Leak
If you found the source of a plumbing leak and need help repairing it, or if you think you have a leak and cannot find the source, give Trident Plumbing a call at 540-642-0023 or fill out our service request form on our website. We are more than happy to stop those leaks!
To learn more about Fix A Leak Week visit https://www.epa.gov/watersense/fix-leak-week