Inspect & Repair Water-using Fixtures
Leave the leaks to the media, not your plumbing!
You usually know if a faucet’s leaking, but slow leaks in the bathroom or toilet often go unnoticed. Leaks can account for 13% of a home’s water use, which can also leak hundreds of dollars per year from your pocket.
For instance, it’s possible to waste 200 gallons of water a day if your toilet is running constantly. According to the EPA, the average house with leaks can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water a year. This is the equivalent of 270 loads of laundry. Talk about flushing money down the toilet!
Inspecting and repairing your fixtures twice a year can pay large dividends all year-round; fixing easily corrected leaks can save more than 10 percent on your water bill.
Faucet diagrams and how-to-repair tips: This Old House.
How-to video: faucet repair:
How-to video: fixing a running toilet:
Doing the right thing is a good incentive, as is saving money on water and energy bills.
How can I tell if I have a leak?
A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month. Another method is to check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
My toilet doesn’t run all the time, but sometimes I hear water running through it randomly. Is it leaking?
One way to find out is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.