Yes, one trillion gallons of water gets wasted each year, according to WaterSense, a division of (EPA) the Environmental Protection Agency. During March of each year, the EPA sponsors a campaign called “Fix a Leak Week” to encourage homeowners to fix the leaks in their homes. But, it doesn’t stop there. We should be vigilant about water leaks in our homes all year round. The EPA pointed out that 10% of our homes in the U.S. have water leaks. The problem is that we don’t see them. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
A Small Leak Wastes 90 Gallons of Water A Day
The average household water leak can waste 10,000 gallons of water per year, and you don’t even know it. A small undetected leak can waste 90 gallons per day. There are many culprits in our home that contribute to this problem, such as faucets, toilets, showers, and outdoor water leaks in our irrigation. But remember, most water leaks go unnoticed especially irrigation leaks. Water leaks are like termites, we don’t usually see them until we check for them. And if we don’t check for them, they’ll keep eating away at our home. Here is one solid tip on testing for a water leak.
1. Turn off all the water in your home.
2. Check the reading on your water meter. Maybe you snap a picture of that number on your phone.
3. Wait 30 minutes using no water, then recheck the water meter reading.
4. If the meter number has gone up, you have a water leak.
It’s that simple. If you want to dig deeper into how to conserve water, there are videos you can watch that will guide you through the process:
Your meter also has a leak indicator which is a spinning dial or, in some cases, it’s a spinning triangle. When your home’s water is off, this dial should not be moving. However, you might want to dig deeper, especially if your leak indicator is moving.
- Turn off the water to your irrigation. Most irrigation systems have a shut-off valve.
- The problem is in your home if the shut-off valve is off and your leak indicator is still spinning. If it stops, the problem lies within your irrigation.
Flushing Is Attributed To 30% Of Your Homes Water Usage
Up to 30% of your water use can be attributed to flushing your toilets. Therefore, you should ensure they are functioning correctly. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the toilet tank, then wait ten minutes to check a leak. If the color appears in your bowl, you have a leak enabling water to seep from your tank without flushing. This is usually a simple fix by replacing the flapper in your toilet bowl.
Apply common sense
Please make it a habit to routinely inspect under cupboards and beneath sinks for any symptoms of mildew or unpleasant odors that can point to a leak. Timely action might help you avoid having to pay thousands of dollars in repairs. In addition, consider hiring a qualified plumber to assess your home annually for water leaks or other possible issues.
Older Homes Need Extra Caution
If your house is over 25 years old, you need to be extra cautious since your plumbing system could be nearing the end of its useful life. Check for oxidation or discoloration around pipes. You can also check exposed connections, including the water heater, angle stop, shut-off valves, and washing machine hoses. It might surprise you to know you have a minor leak that has never been spotted.
A Family Of Four Uses 12,000 Gallons Of Water A Day
Checking your winter water use is advised by EPA to determine whether or not a leak is present in your home. First, it’s important to understand the average water usage in a home, so you can gauge if your family is using too much water or if your home has a leak. According to WaterSense, the average American family member uses 100 gallons of water per day. Accordingly, a family of four would require about 12,000 gallons over the course of 30 days. However, utilization varies greatly across the nation, primarily due to variations in weather patterns. For instance, water usage tends to be higher compared to wetter regions of the country that may depend more on rainfall. Conversely, in drier regions of the nation that rely on more irrigation for watering outdoors.
If Your Water Bill Is High, Check For A Leak
If your water usage hasn’t changed, but your bill keeps going up, there may be a leak. Gather several recent bills and compare them to determine whether it has consistently increased. Your water bill’s range should be consistent from month to month. Consider the possibility that a portion of your plumbing system is underground. Leaks in this area of your system could go undetected, but you’ll still be responsible for paying for them. It is essential to have a licensed plumber thoroughly inspect all of your pipes. A warm patch on the floor could mean a leak with plumbing under the slab or the sound of running water. Both of these issues require immediate, qualified care.
WaterSense Label Will Save You Money
WaterSense is a volunteer program that works in partnership with the EPA. Its purpose is designed to educate and promote water conservation. Manufacturers get awarded the WaterSense label when their product has passed the stated efficiency and performance criteria set forth by WaterSense and the EPA.