Fix a Leak

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March 15, 2019

Put a Stop to Household Leaks!  

Minor household leaks can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year.

Is your toilet running? If so, it’s no joking matter. In the average American household, minor leaks can waste the same amount of water needed to fill a backyard swimming pool. And nationally, that can add up to more than a TRILLION gallons of water wasted each year. When we waste water, we are also wasting the considerable amount of energy used to treat and deliver drinking water to our homes. To help prevent such wastefulness, encourages Hampton Roads residents to check their plumbing fixtures each spring for common household leaks. Get started with your leak detection now!





Finding Common Household Leaks

Some leaks will be obvious: a dripping faucet or showerhead, a running toilet. But there could also be silent leaks, particularly in your toilet bowl. To find silent leaks:

  • Do the Dye Test. Place a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tanks in your home and see if the color appears in the bowl within 15 minutes. If the color leaks, you have a silent toilet leak. Be sure to flush after 15 minutes to avoid staining in your toilet.
  • Check your meter. Check your water meter before and after a 30-minute period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you have a silent leak.
  • Check irrigation systems and hoses. In the spring, inspect irrigation systems and garden hoses for damage caused by winter’s freezing temperatures.
  • Check your bill. If your winter water usage exceeds 12,000 gallons per month (for a family of four), you may have a serious silent leak.


Fixing Common Household Leaks

Household leaks can often be easily corrected with the tools and know-how of the average homeowner. Before you call in a professional plumber, try the following low-cost fixes to common leaks:

  • Check your connections. Worn out washers and loose connections are a common cause of leaking showerheads, faucets and hoses. Simply tighten connections and replace old washers to create a tight fit and eliminate leaks.
  • Replace the flapper. If your toilet is leaking, the most common cause is an old or ill-fitting flapper. Purchase and install a new flapper for a quick, affordable fix.
  • Install a new fixture. If the leak is not corrected with tightening the connection, it may be time to replace your fixture. The good news is that newer fixtures, especially those packaged with the WaterSense label, use less water than older models and may save you some money on your monthly water bill.


Be Water-Wise, Hampton Roads!

There are literally hundreds of easy ways that you can save water each day. From turning off the tap while you brush your teeth to adjusting your sprinklers away from paved surfaces, your choices make a difference. Whether it’s around the house or in the yard, you can do your part to protect our most precious resource, water!