The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is promoting The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Fix-a-Leak Week from March 20 through March 27, 2017. An American home can waste, on average, more than 11,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks. Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year.
Leaking faucets and toilets are the most common cause of water problems in the home and increases to your water bill. A running toilet can use approximately 1,000 gallons of water a day. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. There are some easy tips you can follow to detect and fix household leaks.
- Keep an eye on bathrooms that get minimal use; they are more likely to malfunction without anyone noticing. Check the plunger ball (flapper valve), overflow pipe, and float for leaks in the toilet tank if you suspect a leak. To detect a toilet leak, you can add food coloring to the tank and let sit. If they dye leaks into the bowl, there is a leak.
- Find your water meter, which is usually located in your basement. Take a reading of the meter when no water is being used. If the number on the meter changes after a few hours, you likely have a leak. Remember to turn off your water valve before starting any repairs.
- Soggy spots in your lawn will indicate a leak with a sprinkler or water service line. In the case of a service line leak, turn off the shut-off valve. If you still hear running water, this may indicate a leak.
- Your senses are your best tool. Listen for water running continuously, and look for puddling water near a source. This may indicate a leak.
- Make sure all faucets are shut tight. If you find leaks coming from faucets, you may need to change the washers.
During this week, PWSA encourages customers to use the hashtag #IFixedALeak on Twitter to show us your fixed leaks. A complete FAQ on leak detection is available on our website, and additional information can also be found on Twitter (@pgh2o) and Facebook.