Did you know that the average household accounts for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency?
Here are the most common causes of water waste:
- Toilet leaks
- Faucet leaks
- Showerhead leaks
- Outdoor leaks
Fixing Toilet Leaks
Most of the time, homeowners can tackle these projects. For instance, these toilet fixes can be done without calling a plumber:
- Replacing a toilet flapper
- Fixing a loose or worn-out seal at the base
- Tightening tank-to-bowl connections
- Replacing the water supply valve
Just purchase the right part from the home center and follow the directions for removing the old part and installing the new one. Or search for the topic on YouTube and follow each step to make the repair.
Not sure if you even have a water leak from the toilet? One useful trick is to drop food coloring in the tank. If any color shows up in the bowl about 10 minutes later, you have a leak. Flush the coloring to avoid staining the bowl.
Faucet leaks mainly occur when one element wears out. This could be due to:
- A bad o-ring
- A worn-out cartridge
- Worn-out washers
- A corroded valve seat
Outdoors, if you have an irrigation system, check each sprinkler to ensure everything is in working order.
Did you know that a leaking irrigation system can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month? Just by taking the time to inspect your system could save that amount of water.
Be sure to check your water hoses as well. Make sure your connection to the spigot is secure. And maintaining and replacing the nylon or rubber washer is always a good idea.
Finally, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If you see the meter change at all, you most likely have a leak!
Reducing Water Use
If we want to start living a greener lifestyle, we have to form some new habits.
Start with something simple, like good water habits.
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or shave. Only run the dishwasher or washing machine when you have full loads. Take shorter showers.
If you really want to make a difference, look into having a greywater system installed. It will capture the used water in your home from everything—except the toilet—and route it to use in irrigation.
Make a list of all these things you want to accomplish and tackle them just one at a time. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole new green habit system in place and the result is pretty impressive!
For more water-saving tips, read our article on Water Conservation in the Home.