The Facts on Water Leaks

Fix a Leak Week Tips and Information

The EPA Fix a Leak Week runs from March 20 through 26, 2017 to remind residents to check home water systems for costly and wasteful water leaks. Leaks in an average household can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every year. That’s more than 1 trillion gallons wasted nationwide.

Water Leak Facts

  • The Facts on Water Leaks
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    10% of homes have leaks, wasting 90 or more gallons per day

  • Common leaks include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.
  • Fixing water leaks can save about 10 percent on home water bills.
  • Most home faucet repairs don’t require a costly investment.
  • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year.
  • A shower head leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year.

Water Leak Detection

It is obvious you have a water leak when water is dripping from a faucet of shower head.  Other water leaks, however, can go undetected and are more difficult to discover.

Here are some easy ways to detect water leaks in your home:

  • Review your winter water use. A typical family of four should use less than 12,000 gallons of water per month. If your use exceeds that you may have a serious water leak.
  • Turn off all of the water in your home for two hours and check the reading on your water meter at the beginning and end of that period. The meter reading should not change. If it does, you likely have a water leak.
  • To determine if your toilet tank is leaking into your toilet bowl, place a drop of food coloring into the tank. If after 10 minutes the color appears in the bowl you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after checking to avoid staining your tank.

How to Repair a Leaky Faucet

We have written extensive guides on all types of faucet repair, including leaky faucets. Check one our our guides to easily repair your faucet:

How to Repair a Leaky Toilet

Toilet Repair is the best source for toilet repair. You can follow their guides on easy toilet repair for water leaks:

Other Resources

If you need more help or are looking for a home repair guide, check our list of the best plumbing repair books.

The EPA has provided a convenient, printable (PDF) document to help you chase down leaks.

More Fix a Leak Week information from the EPA.

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