You may not know it, but this week is the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Fix a Leak” Week, designed to call attention to the wasted water and money loss that hidden leaks and slow drips cause.
I get it. You call ServiceOne for our plumbing services when you’ve got a terrible backup in your drain. Maybe your toilet won’t flush. Possibly, you’ve got a wet spot on a ceiling or a circle of damp wet plywood under your bathroom vanity.
But let me say this. A hidden leak or a pesky little drip from your kitchen faucet can add up to lots of money lost and gallons upon gallons of water wasted. Money down the drain. Literally.
Here are three astounding facts you’ll want to know about hidden leaks and slow drips.
ONE: LOTS of Water Is Unknowingly Wasted Every Year
You may think that the tiny little drip coming from your kitchen sink isn’t a big deal. But think again.
It takes 15,140 drips to make ONE gallon of water.
If you have just ONE faucet that’s dripping, and if drips at a very slow rate of 1 drip per minute, you’ll lose 34.7 gallons of water in a year.
Now keep in mind that the average leaky faucet drips at a rate of 10 drops per minute, (not 1drip per minute like in the example above,) and at that rate, you’ll lose 347 gallons in a year.
Here’s the drip calculator from the EPA in case you want to find out how much water (and money) may be going down your drains.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency believes that because of typical household leaks from faucets, more than TEN THOUSAND gallons of water are wasted each year.
If you have numerous leaky faucets or a hidden leak in a toilet or an underground pipe, you may be one of the 10% of homes in the United States that waste more than 90 gallons of water PER DAY.
TWO: LOTS of Money is Wasted on Leaks and Drips Every Year
Wasted water equals wasted money. No lie.
Did you know that Florida has the lowest cost of tap water than any other state in the nation? The average cost of “city water” or “faucet water” in Florida is about $6.00 per month. (In case you’re interested, the highest water cost is in Alaska, coming in at a jaw-dropping cost of $95.00 per month, followed by West Virginia, at $72.00 per month.)
But even at the lower cost of tap water in Florida, if you have just one, barely leaking faucet that drips at a molasses-slow rate of 1 drip per minute, you’re losing 34.7 gallons per year. If you have two slow-drips, you’re losing almost 70 gallons of water a year. If you’re one of the 10% of families that have a 90-gallon leak a day, you’re spending an ADDITIONAL $9.00 a day on water!
A drippy showerhead can result in the loss of more than 500 gallons of water. That’s like running your dishwasher SIXTY times. That leaky shower head is drastically upping your costs.
THREE: There Are Easy Ways to Look for Hidden Water Leaks and Drips in Your Home
If you notice a rise in your water bill, you’ll want to check for hidden leaks or drips. The good news is that there are easy ways to do that.
- Try putting one drop of food coloring in your toilet tank. Wait ten minutes. If color is seeping into your bowl, you know that you have a leak that needs to be checked.
- Check your water bill. The average family of 4 will use less than 12,000 gallons per month. If you’re above that, you may have a hidden leak.
- Run your hands over outside pipes and spigots. If they’re wet when you haven’t been running the water, you have a leaking connection.
- Do a water meter test. Write down the reading. Then abstain from using water for two hours. Check it again. If the meter number has increased, you’ve got a problem.
ServiceOne has underground camera equipment that can check for leaks in pipes you can’t even see. We know where to look for common problems, and we’re experts in solving hidden plumbing issues. Better yet, we offer annual plumbing and plumbing safety inspections so we can detect potential problems before they even happen.
Because even one drip CAN hurt you.