Identifying leaks and practicing good water-usage: Saving water saves you money
All of the information below can be found in this brochure.
Is Your Bill Higher Than Normal?
Many people don’t think about how much water they use until their bill arrives in the mail. By then, it’s too late to consider what steps could reduce water usage, which reduces your water bill. A quick check for leaks might save you unnecessarily high water and sewer bills. This brochure will help you find out if you are paying for water that enters your home but is lost through leaks in your plumbing. It provides simple tips to check for leaks in two common sources, your hot water faucet and your toilet, and a list of water-saving tips to help you conserve water throughout your home or business.
The Water Meter: a Leak-Detection Tool
You can check for leaks in your home by following this simple procedure.
1. Turn off all water inside and outside of the property.
2. Locate your water meter, jot down the reading and note the position of the 10-gallon red indicator, if present.
3. Wait 20 to 30 minutes and read the meter again.
A leaking toilet can be the single most common leak source in your home, resulting in the loss of dozens of gallons per day. With most Americans paying about a penny per gallon for water, a leak that wastes 1,000 gallons a month can increase a monthly water bill by $10.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to determine if your toilet is leaking by asking yourself the following questions: Do you find yourself jiggling the handle to stop noise? Do you hear strange, intermittent noises from the toilet?
If you answered yes to either question, your toilet is probably leaking. Toilets generally leak for two reasons. First, if the float assembly is not shutting off the water, it allows the water to escape into the overflow pipe.
This problem can often be remedied by adjusting the float ball. Second, if the flush ball is worn or not seated properly, water will leak into the toilet bowl.
Check for possible flush ball leakage by using food color or dye tablet. Here’s how:
• Drop the food color or dye tablet into the toilet tank. DO NOT FLUSH.
• Wait 15 to 20 minutes.
• If color appears in the toilet, you know the toilet is leaking and necessary repairs should be made.
If you’re unfamiliar with the parts of a toilet, use the diagram below for guidance. Be sure to contact a plumber if your toilet needs repair.
It’s important to remember that leaks don’t disappear. While some occur only intermittently, like when the toilet is flushed, leaks very often become worse rapidly.
Most leaks are continuous and run 24 hours a day. That’s 720 hours in a one-month billing period and 8,760 hours a year!
If your toilet isn’t the culprit, you might have a leak in your hot water faucet. This leak can be doubly expensive because you’re wasting the water and the energy used to heat it. If your faucet drips after being turned off firmly, turn off the supply line. Take the faucet apart and replace the washer. The table below details the severity of leaks and how many gallons of water is wasted over a one-month period.
Ever wonder how much water is used when taking a shower or washing dishes by hand? The chart below details water usage during daily activities. Average consumption per day, per person equals 80 gallons.
Use load selection for large or small loads if available. Otherwise, wash only full loads. Use cold water. You will not save water, but you will save energy and money. Try using less detergent. When you buy a new machine, select an ENERGY STAR® model. Get a suds-saver attachment. Be sure to choose high-efficiency models.
Wash car sensibly
Wash in sections, and rinse with short spurts from a hose. If you need to wash often, use a car wash that recycles water. Try to wash your car near hedges and shrubs to give them “a free drink.”
Shorter, lighter showers
Turn off water while soaping up. See how light a spray you can wash with. Remodel with high-efficiency shower heads.
Don’t overfill bathtub
A full tub holds up to 50 gallons. You can bathe adequately with one quarter as much. Mark height of water with tape during the bath. Next time, take a shower with tub stopped and compare water level.
All of the information above is included in this brochure.