Dripping faucets, leaky showerheads and running toilets are obvious signs that you need to do some plumbing repairs. Unfortunately, many leaks go undetected because the source of the problem isn’t always that obvious.
To encourage homeowners to hunt down and repair water leaks, the EPA has designated March 20 through 26 as the ninth annual Fix-a-Leak Week. This means that now is the time to check all your household fixtures for potential plumbing problems.
How Much Can a Minor Water Leak Cost You?
The EPA reports more than one trillion gallons of water go to waste each year in the U.S., due to household plumbing leaks. The average home wastes 10,000 gallons annually, which is enough to fill an average-sized swimming pool or do 270 loads of laundry.
Even more alarming, one out of every ten homes wastes at least 90 gallons of water per day. The most common plumbing problems include leaking valves, dripping faucets and worn toilet flappers. Fortunately, repairing water leaks doesn’t require a major investment in most cases.
Finding and fixing plumbing leaks inside and outside your home can lead to big savings on your monthly water bills. In fact, most homeowners can expect a ten percent reduction in their water bill after repairing their plumbing leaks.
Upgrade your fixtures to those with the WaterSense label, and you can save even more.
How to Determine if You Have Water Leaks
Even if you don’t see dripping or leaking around your plumbing fixtures and fittings, it doesn’t mean you don’t have any plumbing leaks. But, if the problems are hidden, how do you know if you have a water leak?
Take a look at your utility bills from the past few months (a year’s worth of bills is even better). The average family of four uses less than 12,000 gallons per month. If your usage exceeds that amount, you may have hidden water leaks. But, because your usage may vary from month to month, comparing the same month from this year and the year prior will provide a better perspective.
Any unexplained spikes in water use may also indicate plumbing problems.
Your water meter can also help you determine whether you have a plumbing leak problem. Check the meter reading before and after a two-hour period when your household uses no water. If the meter readings are different, you have a water leak somewhere.
Try These Simple Water Leak Repair Tricks First
Before you call a plumber to fix your water leaks, you may be able to correct minor plumbing problems on your own.
Replacing faucet washers and gaskets can help stop a dripping faucet, and tightening the connection can fix a leaky showerhead or outdoor garden hose gasket. And, if you’re handy, you could try replacing the flapper on a leaking toilet.
But, if you can’t find the problem, you probably can’t fix it yourself.
For most homeowners, calling in a licensed plumber is the safest approach for fixing water leaks. A professional contractor can find all those pesky hidden water leaks and ensure that your household fixtures are working at peak efficiently.
Fix-a-Leak Week is the ideal time to take care of your plumbing maintenance, but the professional team at American Plumbing can help your household become leak-free any time of the year. Call our Provo, or Spanish Fork, Utah, office today to schedule your free water leak repair assessment and estimate.