Want to stop wasting water—and money—at home? Become a leak detective! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American household has leaks that waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
Take 10 Minutes To Stop Leaks
But if you have 10 minutes, these clues can help you detect and fix leaks throughout your home:
- Check your utility bill. During the winter, if a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, it could be the clue to a leak.
- Read your water meter. Check your water meter-often near the curb in front of your home or in the basement-during a period when no water is being used. If the reading is not exactly the same after two or three hours, you could have a leak.
- Take a 10-minute toilet test. Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush after to avoid staining, and consider replacing your old toilet flapper if it is torn or worn.
While you’re waiting for your toilet test, here are other places to investigate for leaks around the home:
- In the bathroom, tighten showerhead connections with a wrench or use a little pipe tape to stop those stray sprays and drips that are draining your water bill. To save even more, twist WaterSense labeled faucet aerators on your bathroom sink faucets, which can save the average family 700 gallons of water per year and enough energy to run a hair dryer 10 minutes per day!
- In the kitchen, check beneath the sink for puddles under pipes. Don’t forget the laundry or utility room!
- Outside, check that your hose connections are tight and your sprinkler system is in good working order. An irrigation system that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month!
EPA has declared March 14−20, 2016, Fix a Leak Week to remind consumers to find and fix leaks. Take 10 minutes to be a leak detective. The water you save could wash your laundry for 10 months! Learn more at www.epa.gov/watersense.
Article compliments of NAPSnet.