Drip. Drip. Drip. The average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons each year from easy-to-fix water leaks—that’s the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, consider that across the country, easy-to-fix household leaks can add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water lost every year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging homeowners to find and fix leaks during the annual Fix a Leak Week, March 17 through March 23 2014.
Fixing household leaks not only saves water but reduces water utility bills—by about 10 percent. Start saving today with three simple steps:
First, check your home for leaks. Walk around your home with eyes and ears open to find leaks, and don’t forget to check pipes and outdoor spigots. You can also detect silent toilet leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and waiting 10 minutes before flushing. If any color appears in the bowl during that time, your toilet has a leak. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for do-it-yourself repair tips or contact a plumbing professional.
Apply pipe tape to be sure plumbing fixture connections are sealed tight and give leaking faucets and showerheads a firm twist with a wrench. If you can’t stop those drops yourself, contact your favorite plumbing professional.
If you just can’t nip that drip, it may be time to replace the fixture. Replacing an old, inefficient showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model will shrink your household’s water footprint by 2,900 gallons annually while still letting you shower with power.
Because we want to ensure water supplies last for future generations, Hallsdale-Powell is showing that we’re for water by supporting Fix a Leak Week.
Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for more information and tips about how to save water during Fix a Leak Week.
1. Wrap up to stay warm. Check that any pipes close to the exterior walls or floors in a basement or crawlspace are properly insulated. Insulation value increases with the thickness of insulation you use, so don't be afraid to wrap to the max. Not sure if you've got enough insulation? Call a plumber to do a quick assessment.
2. Keep the heat in... and the cold out. Seal up any air leaks near your interior pipes to make sure they aren't being exposed to freezing outdoor air. Cover any nearby outside vents that could let in cold air. Make sure your garage doors, basement doors and crawl space doors are closed. If you live in a mobile home, make sure the underpinning is secure. Don't forget to check that there aren't any gaps or cracks where the pipes enter your house, too.
3. Turn off the taps. Outdoor water taps are a recipe for pipe disaster if the pipe running between the tap and the interior pipe freezes and bursts. Turn off the exterior water source... and don't forget to turn on the taps to drain all remaining water.
4. Keep the heat on. If your furnace quits, your basement pipes won't stay warm for long. Invest in a little proactive heating maintenance to keep your water flowing well all winter. Even if your furnace is functioning properly, if your thermostat is turned down too low or you've closed all the vents in your basement, it may not be warm enough to keep pipes from freezing.
5. Keep your water meter lid in place. If your water meter lid is off, please place it back on the meter box to help prevent freezing. If the lid is missing, please give us a call so we can replace the missing lid.