Now that spring has officially sprung, it’s a great time to check your home for wasteful water leaks that could be costing you a small fortune.
It’s estimated that 10 percent of homes have sneaky leaks that waste 90 gallons or more a day. That’s about the same amount of water required to take five showers.
Fortunately, most of these leaks are easy fixes. Repairing them can cut 10 percent off a water bill, stop damage to a home and help preserve water for our future. Let’s have a look at how you can check for leaks.
Start by looking at the winter water usage on your utility statement. The typical family of four uses about 400 gallons of water a day. So, for the same family, monthly usage should be about 12,000 gallons or so. If usage is a lot more, there might be a leak.
The number readout on your home’s water meter can help, too. Just record the numbers prior to a period when no water will be used—a couple of hours is recommended. And then check the numbers afterward. If there’s a difference, there might be a leak.
Toilets are frequent culprits. And because they use more water than anything else is the average U.S. home, they’re a great place to start if you suspect you’re losing water. Most of these leaks happen inside the toilet’s tank where floats, valves and seals wear out with time. And sometimes they’re easy to overlook because the water leaks into the bowl.
Shower heads and faucets are fixtures that should be checked out, as well. Although problems here usually result in small leaks, the wasted gallons can add up over time. Worn seals are common causes and are easily replaced. Parts are available at most hardware stores.
Sometimes, the problem is not even in the home. Irrigation lines and pipes outside are common leak sources. They’re not always as obvious as a busted pipe behind a wall or in a ceiling because the leak is underground. But it’s still a big problem. A crack as wide as a dime can waste more than 6,000 gallons a month.
This year, include a little leak seeking with your spring cleaning. It could save you money and preserve the life of your home. And it’s a great way to help the environment.