Did you know that leaks can waste nearly one trillion gallons of water annually nationwide? Some leaks are quite noticeable — like when your water heater suddenly starts squirting water out its seams (oh no)! Other leaks, though, are harder to detect. Take a minute to “check, twist, and replace” fixtures throughout your household and workplace.
Check, Twist, and Replace
Don’t let leaks take you by surprise! Proactive maintenance is the best way to save water, protect your home or workplace from water damage, and save money on your water bills.
Leaks can sometimes be stealthy. Here are a couple of ways to discover hidden leaks.
1.Note your water usage on your monthly bill. If you are a household of four and are charged for more than 12,000 gallons of water during the winter months, you likely have a leak. 2.Compare water bills from previous months and years. Do you see significantly higher usage from one month of similar water use to the next? This might be a sign of a leak. 3.Check your meter. Pick a two-hour period when you are not using any water to take a couple of peeks at your meter. If the meter reading changes at all during that time, you probably have a leak. 4.One easy-to-miss source of leaks is your toilet. To identify stealthy leaks, place a drop of food coloring into your toilet tank. Wait 10 minutes. If any color shows up in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Don’t forget to flush afterward, otherwise, the food coloring might stain the bowl. The EPA notes that our neighbors at Spartanburg Water provide a handy video tutorial to walk you through the process. 5.Take a look at faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe. Check inside plumbing cabinets for dampness. These are not good signs. 6.Pay attention if you notice moist flooring or walls, a spongy feeling in your flooring, cracks in your foundation or drywall, or an unpleasant odor. All of these can be signs of a leaky pipe, including a leaky sewer pipe. If you suspect a leak is coming from a sewage pipe rather than a water pipe, call MetroConnects at (864) 277-4442 as soon as possible. We can help identify the source.
You can also take a few quick and easy steps to slow your flow and stop your leaks.
Old, cracked, and inefficient hardware can be one of the most overlooked sources of wasted water.
1.Twist and tighten all water fixtures to stop extra drips. 2.Replace old and broken fixtures with new, low-flow WaterSense-labeled models. 3.Old or worn-out toilet flappers or valves can cause leaks. The rubber quickly wears out and can silently release thousands of gallons of excess water a year into the toilet bowl. Luckily, they are cheap and easy to replace. Bring the old flapper (or a picture of it) with you to the hardware store to make sure you buy one that fits your toilet model. 4.Replace leaky outdoor hoses and garden nozzles every summer. Be sure to turn the water off at the source when you are done watering, as nozzles quickly wear out.
Take a look at the EPA’s handy “Chase Down Leaks” checklist and their Fix a Leak Week Web site for more tips on how to save water and prevent damage to your home from unnoticed leaks. Follow MetroConnectslatest news and blog by signing up for our newsletter here!