FIX A LEAK WEEK!
Did you know that the average family can waste 180 gallons of water every week? It’s true! In fact, research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that household leaks account for almost 900 billion gallons of water lost worldwide every year. Whether you are a conservation-minded homeowner or you just want to save some cash on your next utility bill, let’s celebrate “Fix A Leak Week” by discussing what you can do around your home.
Regularly Check Your Home For Leaks
Homeowners can save an estimated 10% from their water bills by fixing simple house leaks. Start by locating your water meter. Your water meter measures the total amount of water that your household uses during each billing period. Usually these are located in front of your house, near the curb and under a metal lid. Check your measurements before and after a two-hour period of not using any water. If this meter changes at all, chances are you have a leak!
For toilet leaks, you can perform a test by adding a drop of food coloring to the toilet tank. If color appears in the bowl after 10 minutes, there’s likely a leak in the system.
How To Fix Your Leaks
If you’ve identified a leak and a repair seems out of your scope of experience, don’t hesitate to contact a plumbing professional for assistance! Still, there are a few minor repairs that homeowners can familiarize themselves with.
Toilet flappers wear out and need to be replaced every 4 to 5 years. This is a frequent cause of leaks and can be easily replaced by consulting your local hardware store. In addition, leaky faucets may need new washers from time to time, and replacements can be found at that same trusty hardware store. Be sure to check that your shower heads are firmly connected to their piping stem–you may need to use pipe tape for extra security.
While it’s good to develop these home repair skills whenever possible, seek out a plumber for anything that falls outside of your comfort zone. A minor leak can become much more damaging if not treated with care!