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The Facts on Leaks

November 28th, 2011

One of the most annoying issues in a home is having leaking pipes.  On average, a leaking pipe can waste 212 gallons of water per month. Overall, this can increase not only your water bill, but your gas or electric bill because of the need to heat water lost from the leak.

How you go about in dealing with leaks is up to you. You can either call a plumber or try to fix it yourself. However, it all depends on how complicated the situation looks, and whether your efforts to fix it worked. Therefore, the most important steps to take are to deal with the leaks quickly before more damage is caused!

Facts on Leaks:

. Leaks account for, on average, 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year. That is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.

. Water leaks from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year. That’s equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.

. Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.

. Some types of leaks found in the home include leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.

. Fixing household water leaks can save homeowners more than 10 percent on their water bills.

. You can keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet valves, and showerheads.

How to detect a leak:

. One method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month of water usage there is a problem.

. Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter reads differently after the two hours, you probably have a leak.

. A good way to find out if you have a toilet leak 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. Don’t forget to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.

Faucets and Showerheads:

. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.

. Leaky faucets can be reduced by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary

. A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s enough to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.


. If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day.

. If your toilet is leaking, the cause might be an old, faulty toilet flapper.

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