While it might not always be at the top of your to-do list, checking your home for plumbing leaks on a regular basis can help prevent major problems down the road. And fixing those little leaks can save you big bucks on your water bill.
The numbers related to water lost due to plumbing leaks is staggering. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says an average household can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water a year just from leaks. That's enough for 270 loads of laundry. If you fix your leaks, you'll save, on average, 10 percent on your water bill.
It is important that you always examine your water bill. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons a month, there is most likely a leak somewhere. What's more, about 10 percent of all homes in the United States have leaks that waste more than 90 gallons of water a day. Many plumbing leaks are easy to fix yourself. You'll just need a couple tools you probably already have around the house.
The best time to check for leaks is during the winter months.
The places that are the most likely culprits for plumbing leaks include:
- The faucet. It might not seem like much, but if a drop of water is leaking from your faucet each second, you'll end up with 3,000 gallons of water in a year's time. To fix a faucet leak, check the washers and gaskets. If they're worn, replace them. If you're replacing your faucet, replace it with one with the WaterSense Label.
- Shower heads. If your shower head is leaking, it can probably be fixed by tightening with a wrench and using pipe tape. Ten drips in a minute adds up to 500 gallons a year — the amount of water used to clean 60 loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
- Toilets. An easy way to check for toilet leaks is by placing a drop of food coloring into the tank. If the color appears in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, then you know you have a leak. If you discover a leak, there's a good chance it's a worn out rubber flapper valve. They tend to wear out over time and are a simple, inexpensive fix.
- Irrigation system. Once you're safely out of the frigid winter season, check your irrigation system for any damage arising from frost or freezing. Also, look for broken sprinkler heads, weak pressure, wet or soggy areas of your lawn, and increasing water bills in summer. These are all signs of a possible leak in your irrigation system.
- Hoses. Is there a leak or spray of water when you connect your outdoor garden hose to the spigot? If so, replace the washer and use pipe tape and a wrench to seal and tighten the connection.
For answers to your questions about plumbing leaks or any other plumbing issue, contact the Pink Plumber today.
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