Water leaks can waste lots of water and be very costly. National estimates indicate that as much as 10% of the water treated by public water systems is lost to leaks in the distribution pipes or plumbing in homes. A dripping faucet can waste up to 25 gallons of water each day, and a leaking faucet that runs at a steady stream can waste up to 400 gallons of water each day. Has your home been checked for water leaks? Here's how you can be a leak detective in your home.
Inside your home, there are many places you should look for water leaks. Be sure to check all faucets. Remember to check showerheads as well. Lines running to washing machines and dishwashers may also develop leaks. These should be checked periodically to make sure they are in good condition. In many homes, toilets are the primary ‘leakers'. A simple way to test your toilet for leaks is to place 3 or 4 drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Then, let the toilet set for about one hour without using or flushing. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. The most common cause for toilet leaks is a defective plunger ball. Replacement parts are available at most hardware stores. Other items to check inside the home include hot water heaters, regfrigerator ice-making units, and water treatment units.
Leaks may also be found outside. Be sure to check all outdoor water faucets. If you have any type of automatic sprinkler system, look for soft or wet spots around sprinkler heads. For homes with swimming pools, make sure the pump system is working properly. Leaks may also develop in the service line which runs from the water meter to the house. If you notice wet spots in the lawn or hear the sound of running water, you could have a leak in your service line. To be sure, close the main shut-off value inside your home. If you can still hear the sound of running water, the service line may be leaking.
Be aware of how water is used inside your home, and make the effort to be a leak detective. Finding and repairing leaks can save water and money. For more information about water conservation and finding water leaks, contact _______________________________.
Contact: Kim Henken (859-257-7775)
Updated June 28,2005