Fix a Leek Week

fix a leak week

Every Drop Counts

More than 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks. That’s why ecoTransitions is participating in Fix a Leak Week, March 16 to 20, 2009, and we encourage you to join us.

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program, this week is an opportunity to improve the water efficiency of your homes by checking for and fixing leaks, which waste an average of 11,000 gallons of water per home each year. That’s more than enough water to fill up a backyard swimming pool!  

Here’s how to identify and address leaks around your home:  promolabel_blue_look

  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.           
  • To determine if you have a leak, now is a great time to check water usage. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month in the winter, you probably have leaks! 
  • Search for toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl without flushing first, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately to avoid staining the tank.) 
  • If you decide it’s time for a new commode or faucet, look for WaterSense labeled products, which use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The vast majority of leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.

Faucets and Showerheads:

  • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. A home with WaterSense labeled toilets could use that water to flush for six months!
  • You can reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
  • A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.   

Toilets:

  • If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day.
  • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper-a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
  • If you do need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. If a family of four replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save more than 16,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family approximately $2,000 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.

Outdoors:

  • An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
  • An irrigation system with pressure set at 60 pounds per square inch that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. 

As a WaterSense partner concerned with preserving our nation’s water supply, ecoTransitions can help you learn more. Use our water savings calculator to determine how much water you can save by installing a Caroma Dual Flush toilet.  

 

Learn More 

Fix a Leak Week is March 16 to 20, 2009. Grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner to address leaking toilets, faucets, and irrigation systems around your home. Visit the WaterSense Web site to learn more. 

 

About EPA’s WaterSense Program

WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA. Its mission is to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services. Currently, there are nearly 250 WaterSense labeled toilets, 500 labeled faucets and faucet accessories, and more than 550 certified irrigation partners. WaterSense labeled products must achieve independent, third-party testing and certification to prove they meet EPA’s rigorous criteria for efficiency and performance.

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2 Responses

  1. Every week needs to be leak week.
    Verify that your home is leak-free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak. If the meter moved, Do a second test this time Be sure to turn off all the water valves toilet, under sinks and hose bibs. Note: do not turn off the hot water tank. If you still have a leak after the second test you have trouble. If the leak when away the second time you probably have a minor leak in the toilet, a leaky faucet or a hose bib problem. These are all easy to fix. I have written may ways to to save water and you probably know them all. If you do find it is the toilet, now might be a good time to look into a low flow toilet or other water saving toilet devices.

  2. I learned a lot! Thanks for posting!

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