Tuesday, September 6th, 2022
The math adds up on your home’s leaky water
Maybe you’ve noticed a trickle of water coming from your kitchen faucet after you’ve turned it off. Or perhaps your toilet refills with water a little more than it should. Think that extra water isn’t draining your pocketbook? If so, think again.
Truth is, even a faucet that drips just a little or a toilet with a hairline crack can cause a high water bill. In fact, it’s estimated that most homes in the U.S. waste about 14% of water a day due to leaks and otherwise faulty plumbing.
If you’re worried about leaks in your plumbing and how you might be pouring your money down the drain, read on. We’ll break down the ways small leaks can cost you big money, and how to find them in the first place.
How little leaks can cost big money
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average family can waste 180 gallons per week, or 9,400 gallons of water annually, from household leaks. That’s equivalent to the amount of water needed to wash more than 300 loads of laundry.
In fact, household leaks can waste approximately nearly 900 billion gallons of water annually nationwide.
Below are some of the biggest offenders and an estimate of how much it will set you back if they leak or otherwise waste water.
One of the easiest ways to throw money down the drain is with a leaking toilet. On average, a leaking toilet will lose about 200-250 gallons of water a day and that can set you back up to $70 a month. That’s why it’s important to call a plumber if your toilet runs more than it should, and you can’t pinpoint and fix the problem on your own.
Showerheads and bathtubs
If your showerhead is leaking water or you notice water around the faucets in your tub, you could be wasting water and money. Caulk around faucets and dry up over time and cause leaks.
And older showerheads use more water – about 8 gallons per minute – versus newer models that use about 4 gallons a minute. Replacing your showerhead could save you about $20 a month on your water bill.
When was the last time you replaced your dishwasher? If you can’t remember, it might be time to purchase a new one. Here’s why: older model dishwashers use about 11 gallons of water per cycle. Newer models use about half of that. This upgrade could save you about $20 a month.
Older generation washing machines use about 40 gallons per load, which adds up to about $40 a month if you use your washing machine once a week. Newer models use about 4 gallons of water per load. So, investing in a new washing machine can save you money in the long run.
Make sure to check hoses on both your washing machine and dishwasher. If there’s a small leak in a hose or if you notice significant wear or even cracking on the hose, you’ll want to replace it.
Outside, we recommend taking a close look at your sprinkler system if you have one. Sprinkler heads can lose about 20 of gallons a minute if not properly secured or installed. And if you have a broken sprinkler head, this can lead to up to 2,400 gallons of water wasted a month. Let that sink in!
How to detect a leak
More often than not, homeowners don’t know they have a leaking pipe or fixture until they get a water bill with sky high usage and a balance that is much higher than it was in previous months. If this ever happens to you, there are a few things you should do immediately to gauge whether or not the culprit for the high bill is a water leak.
First, check the water meter
If you go to the water meter box and see that the flow indicator gauge is moving, you have a leak. If it’s not moving, hold on, it’s not time to celebrate yet, because you could still have a small leak inside the home. Instead, write down the numbers on the water meter, then turn off all the water in the home (but make sure that your water heater has time to refill first).
Wait an hour and check the numbers. If they’ve changed at all, you likely have a small water leak somewhere. This is when it’s important to call a professional plumber.
Thoroughly inspect your home’s plumbing
Take some time to do a search throughout the home to check for any water leaks. Look underneath sinks in the kitchen and bathroom for water on the floor to make sure there is no water on the floor or cabinetry.
Inspect the base of toilets and bathtubs, and in the laundry room, inspect hoses to make sure they are not cracked and are properly sealed.
Check the water heater
Sometimes, the pressure relief valve on the water heater needs to be replaced. And if you haven’t scheduled routine maintenance for the water heater, it might be time to do so.
Don’t forget that the source of your leak could actually be coming from the outdoors. First make sure that any garden hoses are fitted tightly to the spicket, and when you are finished using the hose, always turn it off from the faucet.
You’ll also want to make sure that your sprinkler system is working properly and check the yard regularly for wet spots underneath the grass. If you notice any, call a plumber immediately.
Worried you’re throwing money down the drain from water leaks? If so, give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call or contact us. We can inspect your home’s plumbing to make sure it’s in top shape. Fixing even the smallest leaks can help you save big money. Your business depends on it. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask questions. https://www.alliedreddirooter.com/grease-trap-cleaning/