WATER CONSERVATION INFORMATION
Check Faucets and Toilets for Leaks.
A leaky faucet can waste up to 1,660 gallons of water per year, and toilet leaks can waste as much as 73,000 gallons a year.
The Facts on Leaks:• Leaks can account for, on average, 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.
Checking for Leaks:
• A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
• Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
• One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.
Fix a Leak: 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. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help tame unruly leaks.
• For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handyperson or licensed plumber.
• Tip: It's also a good idea to check and, if needed, replace the washer or "o" ring inside the showerhead while making this repair.
Fix a Leak: Toilets
• A common reason why toilets will leak is an old or worn out toilet flapper (sometimes called a "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, or licensed plumber.
• Tip: Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that fits your toilet model. You can also check the owner’s manual, if you have it, or the manufacturer’s Web site for the appropriate replacement part number for the flapper.
Fix a Leak: 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.
• Also 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.