Drip, drip, drip. If you have plumbing leaks in your home, now is the time to address them. Even small leaks can add up over time, with some families spending as much as $100 per year on water that gets wasted right down the drain – or worse, leaks out into the home and promotes mold and mildew growth. Read on to learn more about the water Americans are wasting, and how to put a stop to it.
What Could You Do With 90 Gallons Per Day?
Plumbing leaks can happen for a variety of reasons: because of old and decaying pipes, constant high water pressure, cracked seals in your plumbing installations or a more abrupt event like your pipes freezing in the winter. Regardless of the source, the waste can be dramatic. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10 percent of American homes leak 90 gallons or more of water every day.
According to the EPA Water Sense Program, a leak in the average American household can waste over 10,000 gallons of water each year! That's the equivalent of around 270 loads of laundry. Just making the easy fixes could save you up to 10 percent on your monthly water bill, the EPA estimates, but the nation's homeowners have their work cut out for them: In total, residential plumbing leaks use up about 1 trillion gallons of water each year.
How to Track Down and Repair Your Plumbing Leaks
Unfortunately, there are numerous places in your home where you could experience a plumbing leak. If you have a dripping faucet, it should be relatively easy to diagnose and repair, but more subtle leaks like a broken seal in a supply line, a slowly running toilet, a faulty irrigation system or a pinhole leak somewhere behind the walls could evade detection for months or years.
When looking for hidden plumbing leaks, check out all the accessible plumbing in your home – under the sink, behind the toilet, around the hot water heater and washing machine. Carefully inspect the supply lines for drips and keep an eye out for small puddles on the floor. Don't forget to check on other appliances that sometimes get overlooked like whole home humidifiers and evaporative coolers.
Another way to discover a leak is to watch your water meter over a several hour period when you know you aren't using any water in the house.
Don't Waste Another Penny on Your Water Bill
If you’ve found a leak in your household plumbing or if you suspect you have a leak but can’t find it, it’s time to call in your local plumbing professionals.