1% of the water on earth is drinkable. Often we think that a leaky faucet or pipe isn’t a big deal. We think “it’s only a few drops, can’t be too much”. The opposite is true. A leak can waste 3,000 gallons of water each year. This is why water conservation is so important and knowing where leaks are more likely to happen can help prevent wasting precious water.
Senior Operations Manager Joe Bany says, “The number one place that water is wasted in the home is the toilet. A lot of times people will have a toilet that constantly runs or it will have a little leak inside. It is usually an internal component failure where water leaks into the bowl causing the toilet to run all day long. The only way to know if you leak is by sound. You will hear the toilet run or trickle, and it will fill up in the middle of the day”.
The flapper is the most common reason for a leaky toilet. The flapper is a round rubber disk that is connected to a chain. Its job is to lift as the toilet flushes to release water into the bowl. The best practice is for the flapper to be replaced every 3-5 years because over time the rubber starts to decay. An old flapper allows water to link from the tank and those small leaks add up over time.
Most people never notice the leak in the shower because anytime they step foot in the toilet the water is on, making it easy to overlook. If you leak, when you turn the shower or faucet off it will drip all day long.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a showerhead that leaks at a rate of 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons of water per year. That amount of water is equivalent to what it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. When your showerheads and faucets get older, their components don’t work properly and can’t shut off like they were designed to. To prevent leakage, It is best to make sure all the connections are tight. If you want to replace them altogether, purchase a showerhead or faucet that has earned a WaterSense label.
Leaking Outdoor Faucet
The outdoor water faucet protruding from your house that you hook your garden hose to is called a horse bib. During the summer. Many people hook a hose up to the bib and the hose will have a sprayer on the other end that is not secured properly. Because of the loose connection and the running water, water will drip all day long. People don’t notice a leak because they turn the faucet off, go inside, and don’t look back to see it dripping.
Water Conservation Tips
- Don’t leave hoses hooked up to hose bibs and turned on.
- Have regular maintenance done on your AC unit, water heater, water filtration system, and water softener? This keeps them working properly and reduces wasted water.
- Reduce time in the shower. A four-minute shower uses anywhere between 25-40 gallons of water.
- Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.
- Only water your lawn in the early morning or at night when the sun isn’t out. You know you need to water your grass if you step on it and the grass doesn’t spring back up.
- Brush your teeth without the water running.
- Find other uses for half drank glasses of water. Never put it down the drain.
- Install water-saving devices in your home like high-efficiency toilets and washing machines.
If you are unsure whether your plumbing fixtures are working to conserve water for your home, give us a call at John Moore Services to have one of our skilled plumbing technicians take a look for you.