Leaks Can Run, but They Can’t Hide

Are you ready to chase down leaks? Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year we hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week. Mark your calendars for EPA’s ninth annual Fix a Leak Week which will take place March 20 through 26, 2017, but remember that you can find and fix leaks inside and outside your home to save valuable water and money all year long.

Learn how to find and fix leaks during Fix a Leak Week. It’s as easy as 1-2-3

To check for leaks in your home, you first need to determine whether you’re wasting water. Then identify the source of the leak. Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks. Outdoors, you can 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.

Faucets: Old and worn faucet washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. Many tutorials are available online for how to fix a wide variety of faucets.

Toilets: A common reason why toilets will leak is an old or worn–out toilet flapper (e.g., valve seal). Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water woes. To fix this leak, consult your local hardware store, home improvement retailer, o

Showerheads: Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handyperson or licensed plumber.

Outdoors: If you have an in–ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged by frost or freezing. Or hire an irrigation professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program to inspect it for you. These professionals have passed a certification program focused on water efficiency. They will not only help you detect and correct leaks in the system, but also maximize its efficiency. Finally, 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.

For more information about Fix a Leak Week, visit the EPA webpage.