Do you know what the “Fix a Leak Week project” is?
Fix a leak week is an annual event hosted by the EPA to chase down household leaks. This project will take place March 20 through 26, 2017, and it’s the ideal opportunity to hunt down the drips inside and outside your home. Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so be prepare to chase those leaks at home and save valuable water and money all year long.
The main purpose of this event is to teach you and your family how to find and fix household leaks. What you can expect from this event? From WaterSense demonstrations, family fun runs to leak detection contests and insights about how to be handy around the house when addressing these issues.
There are common types of leaks found in the home, such as worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easily correctable, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings.
First, you need to determine whether you’re wasting water, the next step will be identifying the source of the leak. Here are some recommendations to follow carefully to identify if your home is addressing any 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.
- Look at your water usage periodically, such as January or February months. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
- Add some drops of food coloring in the toilet tank, if any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.
- Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
- The Regional Water Providers Consortium has a video on detecting household leaks that you may find helpful.
Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time, and that is one of the most common reason toilets will leak. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water woes. To fix this leak, consult your local hardware store, or licensed plumber.
Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that fits your toilet model. You can also check the owner’s manual, if you have it, or the manufacturer’s website for the appropriate replacement part number for the flapper.
Old and worn faucet washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. Many tutorials are available online for how to fix a wide variety of faucets. Here are a couple of examples:
- The Do-It-Yourself Network has a handy reference on faucet repairs
- YouTube has numerous video tutorials on how to fix a dripping faucet
Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help tame unruly leaks. For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handyperson or licensed plumber.
If you have an in–ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged. Or hire an irrigation professional certified to inspect it for you. They will not only help you detect and correct leaks in the system, but also maximize its efficiency.
Finally, check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer, and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
Have you done all that you can to try to eliminate leaks from your home but still can’t nip that drip in the bud?
If you’ve already determined you have leaks and you find these step-by-step solutions aren’t enough to stop them, it might be time to replace your leaking fixtures. If you consult with a plumbing professional, and look for the WaterSense label when considering a new toilet, faucet, or showerhead, you could increase your home’s water efficiency.
Our professional team and our highly skilled plumbers are expertly trained and experienced to exceed your expectations. For your Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach emergency plumbing needs contact our emergency plumbers, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.
We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to solve all your plumbing issues at your convenience. You can also visit us online for all of your pluming needs.
St. Lucie: (772) 236-6080
Martin: (772) 214-3848
Palm Beach: (561) 316-9007
Indian River: (772) 617-0370