This March we’re giving you seven things you can do to identify any sneaky or not-so-sneaky leaks that could be costing you thousands of dollars--and wasting thousands of gallons of water.
Do you have faucets that go drip in the night? Do you have a toilet running so incessantly it could qualify for an ultra marathon? Do you have a tub or sink that drains so slowly it’s causing backups? If the answer is yes, it sounds like you have some drains trying to tell you something. Because not only are leaks in your toilets and drains wasting valuable resources, they’re also costing you money. Those small leaks that seem like minor inconveniences can lead to larger, more expensive repairs. Over time, you could be looking at thousands of dollars and thousands of gallons down the literal and figurative drain.
Some leaks make themselves known by dripping, draining, running, or flooding. But there might also be leaks in your house that you aren’t even aware of, making trouble and causing problems. To help you identify some of these sneaky and not-so-sneaky leaks, we’re going to walk you through a seven-point home inspection you can perform to help identify any areas that might need a fix before they become big problems. Here's a Home Leak Inspection Checklist you can also print out and use while you go through the areas in your home.
Watch your sink faucets for a few minutes to be sure that they don’t continue to drip while in the “off” position. If you have a leaky faucet, either call a trusted friend who knows how to repair home plumbing or call a licensed plumber to fix your leak. (Or, if you’re handy, a simple YouTube video search could help you make your own repair. You might find it’s as easy as replacing a washer or tightening a screw.) This very simple fix can save you up to 20 gallons of water per day! If you have a faucet that drips at a rate of one drop per second, it is wasting up to 3,000 gallons per year--and wasting you money.
Remember to also check underneath your sinks for leaks. Small leaks in the drains under your sink can lead to disaster down the road. In the short term, water damage could ruin your cupboards and flooring--but left untreated, this could lead to mold growth. Mold is toxic to humans and is extremely expensive to eradicate once it spreads throughout your home. Protect your home and your family by performing a quick inspection of your sinks for any leaks, big or small.
The leading culprit of water loss in homes is leaky toilets. One leaky toilet wastes up to 73,000 gallons of water per year! So, when you hear that toilet running, it’s actually the sound of your water bill, slowly draining money from your wallet. Get your leaky toilet repaired immediately, and consider a low-flow toilet, if you haven’t already got one in your home. A low-flow toilet could save you an additional 13,000 gallons of water per year!
When performing a check on your toilet, be sure to also check around the base of the toilet. If there is water or leakage around the base of the toilet, chances are good that your wax seal is bad. It would be a great time to get the wax seal replaced, either by yourself or a trusted plumber. Otherwise, this is one leak that could create incredibly expensive problems, including damage to flooring and subflooring, and even the ceiling, if the toilet sits on a second story or higher.
Showers & Tubs
A shower leaking at 10 drips per minute is costing you more than 500 gallons per year. Make sure you don’t have leaky faucets in the bathtub or leaky shower heads in the shower. Minor leaks such as a shower leak account for more than 1 trillion gallons of wasted water each year. Get those leaks fixed and it could save you up to 10% on your water bill.
Make sure to also check any drains to make sure they’re--well--draining. Take care of clogs and other obstructions for the prolonged health of your drains. Also, there could be some hidden, sinister reasons your drains are slow. Blockages, obstructions, corrosion, kinks, and breaks could all be reasons--with some potentially devastating side effects.
Water heaters often sit in the basement or closet, quietly going about their business--until you have a reason to pay attention to them. And it only takes one cold shower to feel motivated to start investigating the water heater. And usually, by that time, you’ve already got a problem on your hands. Performing a quick inspection on your water heater periodically could save you from a disaster.
During your water heater inspection, determine if there is water or dampness present and whether or not it is actually coming from your water heater and not another appliance or a leaking overhead pipe. If you can determine you do have a leak, the best thing to do is have a trusted plumber come and check out your water heater. From minor leaks to major ones, a leaking water heater can cause damage to your walls and floors, plus mold and mildew growth. So it’s always a good idea to have it checked out and fixed immediately. (Source: https://www.waterheaterleakinginfo.com/)
Another leak hazard that often goes overlooked are the spigots on the outside of your home. Prone to freezing and breaking, these pipes and spigots see the very most extreme weather conditions--and the most extreme treatment. They can be damaged by lawn mowers, trimmers, or other yard tools and abused by kids looking for summer amusement. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to check on your outdoor lines to make sure they aren’t cracked, broken, or leaking.
A leaking or broken outside line or spigot could lead to serious damage to your property, if left unchecked. From wasted water and higher water bills to damaged foundations and flooded basements, this is another simple check you can perform that could potentially save you a lot of time, money, and stress.
Clothes Washer & Dishwasher
Run a quick check on your appliances to make sure all water lines are working properly. Check connections with the wall and the appliance to make sure those lines are secure, and also check that you don’t have lines with tears or leaks that could potentially cause water damage to your home. Another thing to check is to make sure all of these appliances are draining properly. Clogs in appliance drains can cause backups that could eventually lead to overflow.
Kitchen Sink & Disposal
Check the kitchen sink and disposal as the final stop on your checklist. This is likely the most-used sink in the house, so keeping it in good, working order should be a priority. Make sure you check all rings and gaskets for leaks, drips, and drain blockages.
For more water-saving tips, click here: Making Water Conservation Easy - Five Everyday Tips
Posted: March 2nd, 2018 @ 12:00am by tammy