The average household wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water a year due to leaks. That’s the equivalent of 270 loads of laundry. Assuming a load a day (not an unreasonable assumption), that means water leaks could be costing you nine months worth of laundry.
Obviously, that translates into money. Fixing leaks can actually cut your water utility bills by 10%.
Here are a few tips for identifying whether you have leaks.
- Check your meter in the winter – the best time to determine if you have a leak. If your family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons per month, you most likely have a leak.
- To find out for sure, check your water meter before and after a two-hour period in which you are not using water. If the meter is not exactly the same, you have a leak.
- Check for leaks by searching for dripping faucets, shower heads, and fixture connectors. Also check irrigation systems and spigots.
- For toilets, place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. (Flush immediately after the test to avoid staining the tank).
If you do find a leak, you will have to determine if it is something that you can fix. Do not just start twisting pipe connections. Overtightening could cause even more damage.
If you’re not sure, call your plumber.