Leaks Can Run, But They Can't Hide

Posted Monday, March 11, 2019

Are you ready to chase down leaks? Household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so it's time again to hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week, March 18 through 24—but remember that you can find and fix leaks inside and outside your home to save valuable water and money all year long.

Checking for Leaks

The average household's leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.

Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.

To check for leaks in your home, you first need to determine whether you're wasting water and then identify the source of the leak. Here are some tips for finding leaks:

  • Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.

  • 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.

  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)

  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.