Did you know that water leaks increase your expenses as a homeowner?
For example, a leaking toilet typically leaks between ¼ and 1 gallon per minute. As a result, the leak creates about a 50% increase in quarterly water usage. Interestingly, this small leak translates to roughly 8x more water usage than an average residential home. And, this small toilet leak means anywhere between $36 and $1,000 in additional expenses every year.
Every home and leak differs, along with various water usage rates between towns and communities, so exact costs remain difficult. Additionally, many towns incorporate water consumption in base sewer charges. So, if your home relies on the town sewage system, wasted water potentially impacts your sewage bill as well! However, based on rough estimates, homeowners can learn about their relative costs between drips, trickles and streams!
- Drips consume about 1 gallon of water every 15 minutes. Over the quarterly billing cycle, drips waste roughly 8,640 gallon (57% more than average consumption) and costs between $36 to $78 in additional costs.
- Trickles consume about 1 gallon of water every 4 minutes. Over the quarterly billing cycle, drips waste roughly 32,400 gallon (200% more than average consumption) and costs between $137 to $294 in additional costs.
- Streams consume about 1 gallon of water every minute. Over the quarterly billing cycle, drips waste roughly 129,600 gallon (800% more than average consumption) and costs between $548 to $1,176 in additional costs.
Water Leak Costs in the Capital District
In the Capital District, water leaks could cost up to $5.00 for water and $12.00 for sewer every day. Plus, a fast drip from a faucet wastes about 265 gallons a day, which in some municipalities cost $0.40 for water and $0.92 for sewer every day. That’s over $40 a month! Repair leaky faucets and toilets promptly!
Water leaks cost money, so if you don’t have the DIY skill set, contact your trusted plumber because you don’t want the leak to fester and turn into a stream!
Common Water Leak Signs
First, homeowners can rely on a handful of tell-tale signs that signal potential water leaks. For example, faucets still drip and toilets still run. Additionally, many homes provide other warning signs, such as:
- Running toilets and dripping faucets.
- Spongy, soft, or discolored walls.
- Musty odors from floors, walls near drains, or sewers.
- Chronic sewer backup problems.
- Cracked or unusually damp foundation or slab.
- Warm areas on concrete floors, mildew, or excessive moisture under carpets.
- Particularly wet or moist areas in the yard that are unusually wet or moist (frequently these areas look very healthy or contain unusual plant or grass growth).
Finally, through some clever intuition, homeowners can learn more about their water usage.
Water Bills Show Signs of Leaks
Yes, water bills teach homeowners about their water usage. How? If your water usage remained constant and your bill increased, then your home likely contains a leak. For more information on why water bills work so well in showing homeowners about potential water leaks, Instructables offers a detailed analysis.
“If your water bill is showing an unexpected or inexplicable increase in water usage, it may be caused by an invisible leak. A leak is bad in so many ways: it causes unnecessary expense, it wastes precious water, and it could even cause damage to your home. Follow these steps to determine if there is a hidden water leak in your home.”
Check the Water Meter
Additionally, if you suspect a leak, then check your water meter. To start, make sure nobody in your home needs the water for a while. Next, turn off all the water fixtures in your home and note the meter reading. Wait for about an hour and check the reading. If the reading changed, then you have a leak. Also, some meters contain a red low flow indicator, so if you turn off the water and the dial rotates, then your home contains a water leak. For more info on how to read a water meter, Today’s Homeowner provides some instructions.
“If your water meter doesn’t have a flow indicator, or you would like to determine the amount of water that’s leaking, write down the numbers that appear on the meter followed by the number on the hand of the large rotary dial. Check the meter again after an hour and write down any changes in the numbers or dials. Some older water meters have small dials for each digit with numbers indicating the unit of measure. For example, a dial that reads 8 with the number 100 printed next to it would be read as 800 and recorded as an 8 in the hundred place of the meter reading. Water meter readings may be in either gallons or cubic feet, with a cubic foot equal to 7.48 gallons. To convert cubic feet into gallons, multiply the number of cubic feet by 7.48 (example: 3 cubic feet would be 3 x 7.48 = 22.44 gallons).”
Mold or Mildew Buildup
Mold and/or mildew thrives on moisture. As a result, mold naturally pops up in many rooms in our home because those rooms are prone to moisture. For example, bathrooms always pose a mold risk because the air absorbs moisture from showers. Angie’s List notes some additional insights into the underlying reason why mold potential signals a water leak.
“Mold thrives on moist, dark areas, and a pipe, which is typically hidden in a wall or under flooring, provides the perfect starting point for mold or mildew if the pipe springs a leak. While it’s normal for a little mildew to occur wherever water accumulates, such as in the corner of a shower, mold or mildew on nonshower walls or in corners of the bathroom is a clear sign that water is leaking somewhere and finding its way to those areas. A leaking pipe provides plenty of moisture, so the longer it takes you to detect and fix the leak, the easier and faster mold will grow.”
If you think you have a water leak, but can’t find or fix it, contact A.Johnson because we have the expertise and experience to address leaks and reduce your water waste and water bill.