The Effect of Leaky Pipes on Your Water Bill
Jul 1, 2016
No one likes a leaky pipe. We all know it’s wasting water, and may even signal a larger issue with your plumbing. While a small leak may feel like a minor inconvenience at the time, even the tiniest drip can build up to a much larger issue on your wallet. With every wasted bit of water comes some wasted money, but how much will it really cost? How much of an effect does a leaky pipe have on your water bill?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household leak can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every year, and an estimated 10 percent of houses have leaks that can waste 90 gallons or more every day. They estimate that household leaks lead to more than 1 trillion gallons of wasted water nationwide every year, an amount equivalent to the yearly water use of over 11 million households.
The EPA believes that taking care of common leaks could save homeowners around 10 percent on their water bills each year. Some of the common and easily fixable leaks they noted were dripping valves, dripping faucets, and worn toilet flappers. These leaks, even if they appear to be minor, can quickly add up to very expensive levels. Depending on the size of your toilet, it can waste anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 gallons of water if it runs continuously throughout the day. A single leaky faucet that drips once per second can waste up to around 9 gallons of water every day if left unrepaired, which can add up to over 3,000 gallons of water each year.
These issues can easily be fixed by replacing cheap parts of the plumbing. A leaky faucet can usually be repaired by replacing the valve system, washer, or rubber O-ring with a simple tool kit and instructions found online. While a leaky faucet is easy to identify, it may be harder to detect if your toilet is running, especially if it’s a silent leak. An easy test to determine if your toilet is silently leaking is to drop nonpermanent food coloring into the tank on the back of your toilet and wat for about an hour. If you check the toilet bowl and see that the coloring has seeped into the water, it’s time to replace the rubber toilet flapper in the tank. It’s a cheap and easy fix, one which we covered in a blog a few weeks ago.
If you notice that your water bill has noticeably increased, you may have leaky pipes. Before you call your utility company to see if there was an error on their end, make sure that you didn’t dramatically change your water usage over the past month.
If there was no error on the utility company’s end and your water usage has stayed consistent, it may be time to call in the professionals. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year in order to give our customers the assistance they need, when they need it. Find your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain through our website, or give us a call at 888-794-0341 to set up a free home consultation.