Fix a Leak

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
article image

Drip, drip, drip … do you have a leak? The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year – enough to wash 270 loads of laundry. Nationwide, household leaks can waste over 1 trillion gallons in a year. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes!

Viewer Tip: During Fix a Leak Week, March 17-23, 2014, the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program encourages you to chase down leaks at home and fix them to save water and money. Fixing household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.

Check, twist and replace to stop leaks in their tracks:

Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak. 

Check for silent leaks in the toilet by dropping a few drops of food coloring in the tank and seeing if the color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes.

Check your sprinkler system, if you have one, for any winter damage.

Twist faucet valves, tighten pipe connections and secure outdoor hoses to spigots.

Still leaking? Replace old plumbing fixtures and irrigation controllers that are wasting water. Look for WaterSense labeled models, which are 20 percent more efficient than average products and perform just as well.

Need help fixing a leak? This how-to guide will get you started.

See what’s going on near you: Check out the Earth Gauge map of Fix a Leak Week events.