How to detect faucet and toilet leaks.

January 15, 2021
...every year over 80 trillion gallons of water is wasted by common, easy to fix bathroom leaks.

We all know how important it is to protect the earth.  We recycle, buy energy efficient appliances and try whenever and wherever possible to save water.  But, did you know that despite your best efforts, there could be a huge water bandit hiding right in your bathroom? 

According to the Watersense, (US EPA)  every year over 80 trillion gallons of water is wasted by common, easy to fix bathroom leaks.  That isn't a typo....trillions of water.   So, why does this happen?  Well, largely because people simply don't notice the leaks, or fail to understand how important it is to fix them quickly.  Because, to be clear, we aren't talking about gushing, catastrophic floods.  We are talking about small leaks, that often  happen one drop at a time. 

If you think that a dripping faucet or toilet isn't important, consider this:

 

  • if a faucet or other water fixture drips 60 drips per minute, that adds up to 5 gallons (21 litres) of wasted water per day.  If it goes on for a year, that's over to 2,000 gallons of wasted water. 

 

Now, think about if more than one of your fixtures is leaking, and you are one of thousands with leaking fixtures in your city.  All of a sudden we start to understand how 80 trillion gallons of water is wasted across the US every year.  So, let's look at how to change that. 

If your faucet is dripping, you should already know.  You can see and hear the leak, and likely be annoyed by it.  But, if your toilet is leaking, you might have to do a little more detective work.  A great tool to help you is the Watersense leak detection check list ,   Click on that link for lots of helpful hints on detecting links, like dropping food coloring into your toilet tank and waiting 10 minutes.  If any of the color winds up in the water in the bowl, (without anyone having flushed) , you know there is a leak!  There are lots of other helpful tips and tricks offered by Watersense;  make sure to check out both this brochure and the rest of their website!

So, the important thing is to understand how important it is to maintain your fixtures People tell us all the time that they have had their toilet in for years and it's never caused them any troubles; works fine.  But, all toilets need occasional maintenance to ensure not only that they are running at peak efficiency, but also that they remain as water efficient as the day you installed them.  Think about everything else you use regularly: you car needs you to occasionally replace the oil and the brake pads; lamps need new light bulbs and tv remotes need new batteries.  Well, in the same way, your toilet should occasionally get new seals.

You see, if you look inside your toilet tank, you will see a flush valve and a fill valve.  They are made to last, but the little rubber washers and gaskets can wear over time, especially if you live in an are with hard water, or worse, if you use in-tank cleaning products;  (aside - don't do that!  It not only can ruin the internals of your toilet but also can cancel your warranty).  

For more information on how to diagnose these kinds of issues, have a look at the resources listed  here. But for now, we just want you to understand that your water fixtures add a lot to your life.  Whether talking about toilets, showers or faucets it is important to do a spend a little time maintaining them, so that you can save a lot of money on new fixtures or wasted water.

 

if a faucet or other water fixture drips 60 drips per minute, that adds up to 5 gallons (21 litres) of wasted water per day.  If it goes on for a year, that's close to 2,000 gallons of wasted water.