Finding & Fixing Leaks
Did you know easy-to-fix water leaks account for nearly one trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes? In fact, the average household leaks almost 10,000 gallons of water per year, or the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry. In just 10 minutes, you can search your home for leaks and crack down on water waste. Many common household leaks are quick to find and easy to fix.
- Toilets: Listen for running water and conduct the food coloring test. Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
- Sinks: Look and listen for drips from the faucets or in the pipes under the sink.
- Showerheads: Look for a dripping showerhead and replace with a new one, if needed.
- Bathtub: Turn on the tub, then divert the water to the shower and see if there’s still a lot of water coming from the tub; that could mean the tub spout diverter needs replacing.
- Sinks: Check for pooling water under pipes and rust around joints and edges.
- Clothes washer or dishwasher: Look for pooling of water under pipe connections, rust or other signs of leakage.
- Spigot: Ensure tight connections with the hose and see if the hose washer need replacing.
- Irrigation system: Check for broken sprinklers or nozzles spraying in the wrong direction.
The City of Boulder provides free irrigation consultations through Resource Central that can help you identify obvious leaks in your irrigation system.
WaterSense Fix a Leak website has many helpful video links that show how to fix these simple leaks. If you cannot find a leak, or are having troubles fixing one, contact a certified plumber.