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Fix A Leak Week

Fix a Leak Week 2020 runs March 16-22 and in celebration, we have compiled some helpful tips and tricks so you can find and fix some your home’s pesky (and often costly) leaks.

For most of us, we don’t realize we even have a leak in our homes until major changes start showing up in our utility bill. The current estimate is that these leaky faucets, dripping showers, and running toilets can add up to nearly 1 trillion gallons of water wasted annually in the US alone. You can help save water and save money on your bill by taking some proactive steps to help fix leaks.

Steps to Identifying & Fix a Leak

The first step starts with analyzing your water usage. If your home consists of a family of four or smaller and your usage during colder months, such as January or February, is more than 12,000 gallons per month, then you may have a serious leak.

To further investigate, check your water meter before and after a two hour period in which you actively don’t use any water. If the meter changes, that is a sign of a leak.

Next, you’ll want to take a look at all the places in your home that use water to see if you may have a leak or identify how you could use these items in a more water efficient manner.

Toilets – You can find a leak here by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.

Showers, Tubs, & Sinks – Check the gallon per minute (gpm) rating on your shower head. If it’s not WaterSense certified (2.0 gpm or less), you could be putting hundreds of unnecessary gallons down the drain. For a leaky sink, it’s usually going to be caused by one of three issues, these include a leak in the water hose, a leak in the drain line, or a faulty sink drain seal.

Faucets – Check the faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water outside the pipe. Before investigating, be sure to turn off the water supply.  You can then open up the tap and inspect the washer before replacing it. One drop every 2 seconds wastes more than 1,000 gallons per year. Also, the simple act of turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth can save you 4 gallons of water each time.

Clothes Washer – For both the clothes washer and dishwasher, make sure you are running these appliances only when you have a full load.

Dishwasher – It may come as a shock, but using a dishwasher actually saves more water than washing your dishes by hand. You can also save water by not “pre-washing” your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

After you’ve identified and fixed your possible water wasters, see if you notice much difference in the next few days in your water meter output. If it still seems high, you may want to call a professional as the leak may be harder to identify than you initially thought. It’s important to know your own DIY limitations.

Fix a Leak Week is a great reminder that with a few preventative measures, you can stay on top of potential leaks before they get out of hand, thus saving you money and helping to conserve water. For more tips, visit SavingWater.org and check out this helpful video from Thornton Water.