Fix those leaks!

Common household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually across the U.S.

EPA’s Fix a Leak Week reminds us to find and fix leaks inside and outside our homes.

Toilet Leaks

The most common sources of leak in the home.  Sometimes a leak is obvious – you can hear the water “running”, but more often than not, leaks are silent.

All toilets should be tested for leaks on a regular basis.  Even toilets that are a few years old.  The reason?  Mineral deposits and worn toilet flappers.  Flappers are an inexpensive, easy-to-replace rubber part that can be found at most hardware stores.

To see if your toilet flapper is leaking:

  • Place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank
  • Wait about 5 minutes WITHOUT flushing.
  • If any color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.

Click here to watch video about fixing toilet leaks.

Leaking Faucets

Usually caused by corrosion, mineral deposits or defective parts, and can waste hundreds of gallons of water a month.  Do-it-yourself fixes are not difficult and can save you from paying expensive plumbing fees.  In addition to saving water, you’ll also be saving the energy it takes to heat the water.  If it’s time for a new faucet, be sure to choose a water efficient WaterSense labeled model.

Click here to watch video about fixing faucet leaks.

Leaky Shower Heads

These can often be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the shower head and the pipe stem, and by using Teflon pipe tape to secure.

Outdoor Faucets Leaks

Check for outdoor faucet for leaks on a regular basis during the spring and summer.  The smallest leaks add up to hundreds of wasted gallons of water.

Click here to watch video about fixing outdoor faucet leaks.


Additional ways to check for leaks:

  • Analyze your water bill.  If a family of four with updated fixtures exceeds 6,000 gallons per month over the winter, there’s a good chance that you have a leak somewhere in your house.
  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes, you probably have a leak.

For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak

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