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Plumbing Leaks Cost Homeowners $100’s Every Year

Many homes, new and old, have leaks in their plumbing systems. A drip here and there may not seem that much, however small leaks over time add up.

The time to address them is right now.

Even if you think you may not have any leaks, it may be a good idea to have a professional plumbing company like Staggs Plumbing come out and inspect your water pipes.

Leaks that are not taken care of can:

  • Promote mold and fungus growth.
  • Seep into the soil beneath the home and potentially contribute to slab leaks.
  • Waste a finite resource. Texas has undergone many water restrictions over the years. Don’t contribute to another one.
  • Cost you money.

Read on to learn more about the water that Texans are wasting, and how to put a stop to it.

The EPA Reports a Waste of 90 Gallons per Day per Home

In a report from the Environmental Protection Agency, they estimate that Americans waste more than 10,000 gallons of water through leaks in their home’s plumbing.

  • 10,000 gallons of water is enough to wash around 300 loads of laundry.
  • 10% of homes they surveyed had leaks, costing the homeowners money and the potential for water damage.
  • Toilets are the #1 cause of water leaks. Worn flappers or broken seals are the primary culprits.
  • Dripping faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms are another common source.
  • Small leaks from outside hose bibs are commonly overlooked.
  • Leaks from shower heads also contribute.

Most of these items are simple to fix. If you have some basic DIY skills, these items can be easily fixed for little cost. However, if you are not sure (it’s never as easy as they show on TV!), get with your local plumbing expert or just give us a call.

Some older appliances like dishwashers can be replaced with more water efficient models. They will have a Watersense label.

High efficiency washing machines use much less water than their upright tub counterparts.

How do Leaks Occur?

Many factors contribute to a leak developing, including:

  • Old and decaying pipes
  • Cracked seals (washers, gaskets etc)
  • High water pressure
  • Movement in your home’s foundation (which may also lead to slab leaks)
  • Poor workmanship from the previous plumber or home builder.
  • Freezing pipes

Despite small, hardly noticeable drips, 90 gallons a day is a lot of water. A small investment to correct these leaks is going to keep your home safe and avoid expensive repairs down the road.

How to Detect Plumbing Leaks

leak flow triangle indicator

Dripping faucets are easy to detect, as are leaking shower heads.

But what if you don’t see any leaks – are you safe?

The best way to check to see if you have a slow leak is to look at your water meter. In most meters, there is a wheel that spins around whenever water flows through it.

With all faucets turned off, carefully look at the leak indicator. It should not move at all. Watch it closely for a minute and see if there is any movement.

Unfortunately, there are numerous places in your home where you could experience a plumbing leak.

More subtle leaks, such as a slow running toilet, a break in a supply line, a leak in the in-ground sprinkler system or a pipe behind the walls could evade detection for months or years.

One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 10 minutes without flushing, you have a leak.

It’s a good idea to check all of your interior plumbing supply lines once in a while. run your hand around the water supply lines under the sinks, behind the toilets, next to the washing machine and hot water heater.

Watch out for small puddles on the floor as an indicator of a potential leak.

If you’ve found a leak in your household plumbing or if you suspect you have a leak but can’t find it, it’s time to call in your local plumbing professionals at Staggs Plumbing.