From showering and brushing teeth to washing dishes and laundry, your household uses a good amount of water each day. If you have a monthly water bill, you are probably concerned with your home's water usage a great deal. However, conserving your water usage is also important for protecting the environment. In addition, certain ways your home is wasting water can lead to water damage that requires costly repairs.
Certain issues with your plumbing may seem small, but the amount of water they waste can be big. This guide will help you diagnose and repair small ways your home is leaking water in big ways.
Most people do not stop to think about how complicated their plumbing system is. To move water into and water/waste out of the home, there are many drain and supply pipes hidden throughout and under your home.
Not only can you not see these underlying pipes, but you will not even know if they are leaking water in your walls, floors, or under your home. Even a small leak from one of these underlying pipes can add up to a lot of waste, water damage, and even potential mold growth.
If you have had a sudden increase in your water bills, ask a plumber to inspect your pipes for hidden leaks. Here are a few other signs of a hidden water leak:
- Peeling paint or wallpaper
- Warped wood floors or cabinets
- Warped or stained walls
- Stained ceiling
- Damp carpeting
- Musty odors
If you are noticing any of the above signs, there is most likely an underlying plumbing leak affecting your finances, home, and possibly health if there is mold growth. Repairing the underlying leaks may require repiping your plumbing. While this may seem overwhelming, repiping is your best option if your leaky pipes are old and corroded.
Another common way your home is wasting water is a toilet that is constantly running. A running toilet may seem like a small issue, but it can add up to a big expense, wasting a lot of water.
If you don't repair the running toilet, water may excessively fill into the tank or bowl, eventually spilling over onto your floors. Because water can damage your floors, walls, and cabinetry quickly, it is best to have your running toilet addressed by professionals.
Fortunately, repairing a running toilet is usually simple. A worn flapper valve is one of the most common causes of a constantly running toilet. If this rubber or plastic valve is worn down, it will not be able to seal the opening, which allows water to constantly move into the bowl.
Replacing the worn flapper valve is essential if your toilet is constantly running. Also, inspect the chain connected to the flapper valve. If it is too loose or too tight, the flapper valve will not close over the opening properly after flushing. Adjust or replace the chain, if necessary.
If your toilet is still running after addressing these issues, your plumber may need to inspect the toilet's overflow tube.
Whether you hear it in the bathroom or it is a problem in the kitchen sink, a dripping faucet can sound annoying. However, the continuous small drips coming from one or more faucets in your home is one BIG way your home is wasting water.
Current calculations state a faucet that leaks 20 drips of minute will waste 2.88 gallons of water a day. This 2.88 gallons of water each day adds up to 86.4 gallons of water waste in a month.
Reducing the annoying sound of a dripping faucet while preventing an enormous amount of water waste will most likely only require replacing small pieces, such as a worn O-ring or washer.