You know that small drip in the bathroom sink? The one that leaks a drop of water every few minutes? Its nothing big, not even an annoyance really. You’ve only noticed it because your sink is wet even after you’ve been away from home all day.
Those tiny drips can be a big problem. Studies show that the average home can lose anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water per year due to those tiny leaks.
There are the drips you can see – like the ones that occur in your bathroom sin
k. Then there are the drips you can’t see – these are the ones that occur in your crawl space or behind the walls and go undetected for years.
Because if you know anything about water, you know one thing is for sure – water is one of the most powerful forces on earth. And when its left to its own accord, it will go where it chooses. Which means it will break through those tiny cracks you can’t see, find a way to get through joints that weren’t properly sealed, and wear away at connections that weaken over time. Its just a fact.
Which means you as a homeowner must be consistent and diligent when dealing with potential water problems, before they get the best of you.
The best way to do so is to periodically check for leaks throughout your home. You can do this on a whole house basis, or perform checks in individual areas.
Whole House Meter Check
If you suspect a larger leak, starting with a meter check can verify you have a problem. Make sure all water is turned off both inside and outside of your home, and verify automatic water equipment (such as your sprinkler system) will not turn on during the test. Record the reading on the water meter and wait 15 minutes. Record the reading again. If the meter recorded water usage during this test, it may indicate a leak.
The water supply line that connects your home to the water supply is usually buried at least 3 feet below ground. Most often leaks between the meter and the house are the responsibility of the homeowner; leaks from the pipes leading from the main to the meter are the responsibility of the water utility. To determine if you have a problem in the supply line, check for water around the meter box, or for water around the supply line where it enters your home. If either are moist, it may warrant further investigation.
Faucet leaks are one of the most common water leak occurrences, and are the easiest to detect. The repairs necessary to stop the leak depend on the type of faucet and the problem at hand. There are four different types of faucets: compression valve, cartridge, ceramic disks and ball. If you have any home maintenance repair skills, you should be able to repair minor faucet leaks.
Toilet leaks are often one of the most common leaks that go unnoticed because they often are silent and out of view. Large toilet leaks can be detected when you hear a hissing or gurgling sound when the toilet is not in use. To start, remove the tank lid an inspect the float mechanism. The water level in the tank should be no higher than 1 inch below the overflow tube. If the water is at the very top of this tube, water is leaking. The problem could stem from the water level being adjusted to high, the float is damaged, or the refill valve is worn. You can perform a simple dye test to check for leaks. Place a dye tablet or a couple of drops of food coloring into the tank. If the colored water appears in the bowl within 15 minutes, there is a leak in the flapper valve. A worn flapper is common and can be easily replaced.
Increasingly homeowners around Denver are moving their living space outdoors. With that comes lots of extra features, such as fountains, ponds and waterfalls. And because of the extreme temperature variations an outside water feature must sustain, it’s the perfect place for a leak to occur. To check for leaks in ponds or fountains, do a simple bucket test. Place a bucket in the water and fill it with water. Place a piece of tape inside and outside of the bucket, and mark the water level on both. After 24 hours, mark the water level once again. If the water level in the fountain or pond is lower than the water in the bucket, you may have a leak.
Determining you have a leak is the first step; the second is to fix the leak as quickly as possible. Give us a call today and we can help you repair your plumbing, and help your home be energy efficient and water friendly once again.