Chasing Leaks

April 13, 2015 at 10:21 am Leave a comment

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Spring has finally sprung! The snow has melted, green grass is emerging, and bright sunshine is starting to warm the Midwest. This time of year causes many people to go on a spree of “spring cleaning” but there is one important issue that can come up during this time as well and is often forgot: water leaks.

The US Environmental Protection Agency offers an abundance of helpful tips and tricks to get a handle on your household leaks and stop wasting large amounts of water and money. More than 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted annually in the United States due to household leaks. An average household could wash 270 loads of laundry with all of its water wasted yearly! Not only could you be saving big on water, fixing these common leaks can save about 10% on water bills as well.

Common leaks in households include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking valves. The EPA offers many solutions for both checking leaks and fixing easy leaks around your home.

To Check For Leaks:

  1. Look at your water usage during the colder months. A family of four should not exceed 12,000 gallons. If you have, this could mean there are some bad leaks.
  2. Check the water meter before and after a two-hour period. If the meter does not read the same for both times, then there is most likely a leak.
  3. Check for toilet leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and checking the bowl after 15 minutes. If any of the food coloring is visible in the bowl, there is a leak.
  4. Check for surface leaks by examining faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of them.

To Fix Leaks:

  1. Easily replace your toilet flapper from a hardware store or a plumber. Bring your broken toilet flapper in order to purchase the correct type.
  2. Pipe tape, or Teflon tape, can be used to seal a variety of pipe leaks around the home.
  3. Replace outdoor hoses or repair them with pipe tape and rubber washers.

If any leak seems too extreme to handle on your own, be sure to call a local plumber and start saving water and money in your household right away!

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