What We Learned During “National Leak Week”


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What We Learned During “National Leak Week”

How to find a household leak and why you should take care of it

Photo Credit: Getty Images. Contributor Yui Mok-PA Images.


The second last week of March the EPA claimed as “National Leak Week.” Now I don’t know what may come to mind, but we are talking about plumbing around the house!


Leaky faucets, pipes, showerheads, toilets, they all need attention from time to time. Usually these little drops of water don’t seem like a big deal. However, we learned last week that the average household’s leaks add up to 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. That means households nationwide equate to 1 trillion gallons of water wasted annually.


How does that much water come from little drops of water? To put it in perspective a leaky faucet for instance, dripping at a rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year.


Not only do leaks cause water waste it can also spike your water bill immensely. Fixing leaks around the house can save you upwards of 10 percent. Saving water AND your money just seems like a double win situation.


All these facts and numbers can feel overwhelming, but the good news is it only takes a few minutes to fix a leak!


 So how do you even know you have a leak?


Take a walk around the house. Check pipes and faucet gaskets for any water on the outside of the surface or water dripping. Many leaks can be identified by just hearing a toilet run in the other room. Helpful hint: The most common types of leaks you’ll find are within worn toilet flappers and faucets.


Use food coloring to check your toilet for leaks. Pat and Dr. Dirt live by this silly, but simple method. Add just a drop of some food coloring into your toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.


Check your water meter. Take a quick look at your water meter then check back after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the water meter changes within that time, you have a leak.


A huge water waster and honestly a huge headache is when the toilet overflows. That’s happened to the best of us and usually at the worst time. The quicker you can stop the overflow of water the better. Denny shows you just what to do in case you ever find yourself in that situation.




If you find a leak and want to try to fix it yourself check out the EPA Watersense steps


Have more plumbing questions? Ask us on Facebook!

Don't forget to tune in to the Home and Garden Show every Saturday, 9am-1pm right here on WIBC.


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