Did you know that a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3000 gallons per year? A shower leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. Together we can save 1,000,000,000,000 gallons of wasted water each year. It is easy! Just by checking for leaky faucets in our homes, we can be part of a water solution. We can find and fix a leak. Homeowners should care about this because it means dollars out of your pocket are wasted on leaking water. We do not know a single homeowner that would waste money needlessly. Let’s learn how to check for leaks in our homes.
The most common leaks in your home come from toilets, faucets, and showerheads. There are outdoor leaks as well to check for.
How do I check for leaks?
First, identify whether you are wasting water? Then second, identify the leak.
According to the EPA, if a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons of water usage per month, there are serious leaks. Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when water is not being used. If the water meter changes at all, you probably have a leak. It is easiest to do this if you don’t use the toilet at night. Record the meter before bed, and first thing upon waking check the meter. Otherwise, you can set aside two hours to do a check specifically for leaking water. Your pocketbook will thank you.
You can identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank, turning the color of the water a different color. If any of that color shows up in the bowl after just 10 minutes, you have a leak! (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining your toilet bowl and/or tank.)
The EPA has an easy-to-use checklist to keep track of and search for your leaks: detect and chase down leaks at home checklist. It is simple and will take about ten minutes of your time.
Water Sense partners have guides and videos that you might find helpful in finding and fixing leaks. Most leaks are easy to fix, requiring just a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10% on their water bills. Now that is worth checking on! Let’s go fix a leak.