Looking for ways to save money during the current recession? Here’s a suggestion: Check your home for “hidden” water leaks. March 15-21 marks the EPA’s Fix-a-Leak Week, and it’s a great time to run some simple tests to see if your money is, literally, going down the drain.
These EPA statistics are real eye-openers:
• A leaking toilet can waste up to 90,000 gallons of water in 30 days. At today’s rates, that can add up to $500 to a single water bill.
• A single, pin-hole sized leak in a pipe or faucet fitting can waste almost 360,000 gallons of water in a year. If the hole is in a metal pipe, at 40 psi, water is lost at a rate of 2,500 gallons in just 24 hours.
And, money isn’t the only thing you’ll save if you take care of those sneaky leaks in your home. Undetected leaks can cause your floors to buckle or allow mold to take hold – problems that can be expensive and difficult to reverse.
Here are a couple of ways you can become a “leak detective” in your home:
• Check your water bill during the winter months. If your family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, chances are you have a serious water leak.
• Run a water meter test. Pick a time when you will not use any water for a two-hour period, and jot down the readings on your water meter. Check the meter again at the end of the two-hour period. If the reading has changed, you probably have a leak. So, how do you begin tracking down the leak? Well, you can eliminate the toilet tank as the source of the leak by shutting off the valves under all the toilets in your home or building, and then conducting the meter test again for at least 30 minutes. If the numbers on the meter don’t change, you probably have a toilet leak. If they still change, even when the toilets have been shut off, then you may need a leak detection specialist to pinpoint the source of the leak.
• Conduct a dye test. If you suspect a toilet leak, place a couple of drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Do not flush the toilet for 15 minutes. If the color shows up in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. (Flush the toilet immediately at the end of this test to avoid staining the tank and bowl.)
These simple tests won’t cost you a penny, but they can save you a lot. And, repairing water leaks promptly makes sense, not only for your budget but for our water supply, too.
If you need help tracking down the source of a leak, the trained technicians at American Leak Detection can help. We use state-of-the-art technology and equipment to detect leaks, using the most non-invasive leak detection possible, to minimize disruption and expense in repairing even the most difficult leaks.