According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family could be wasting more than 10,000 gallons of water annually — enough for 270 loads of laundry. Overall, more than one trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year. Ten percent of homes waste 90 gallons or more of water each day due to leaks. Take action to ensure that your home is not part of this problem. You can help your home, the environment and your wallet by checking for household leaks.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself in order to spot a leak:
- Is the dial spinning on my meter?
- When you go to your meter box and look at your meter, the center of your meter has a dial that spins whenever water is running. If you’ve turned off your water inside the home and it’s still spinning – you probably have a leak.
- Is your bill extremely higher than usual?
- Give us a call if your bill is extremely higher than what you are used to paying. We can send a technician to see if we are able to spot any leaks when visiting your meter, and we can determine how much was used each day.
- Have you inspected your shower and sink faucets or outdoor spigot?
- Check the spout of your sink and shower head to see if it’s dripping, and also inspect the base of the faucet for leaking water. Make sure to also look at your hose spigot outside.
- Is your toilet running?
- One way to check is to place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you may have a leak. Another sign of this would be if you can hear it running long after you’ve flushed.
- Are your pipes frozen?
- Cold temperatures can cause older pipes to freeze over and crack.
- Does your irrigation run properly?
- Sprinkler heads can get damaged and possibly the connecting pipes. Be on the look-out for any issues or even hire an irrigation specialist certified by a WaterSense labeled program. These professionals are certified in water efficiency and will not only help you detect and correct leaks but also maximize efficiency.
It’s important to ask yourself these questions and do a regular walk through of your home, and if you ever need extra help inspecting, contact a plumber. Get leaks repaired right away because they can cause more damage then you may think. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water used for more than 180 showers! Many leaks are surprisingly easy to fix with just a few tools and hardware that can quickly pay for themselves in water savings. Twist and tighten plumbing connections to stop drips. Twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator to save water.