Water Leak Fact Sheet

The Facts on Leaks:

- The average household's leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.

- Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That's equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.

- Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.

- Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toiilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking showerheafs. All are easily correctable. 

- Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.

- Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don't require a major investment.

- Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency applicance.

Leak Detection:

- A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water use. It's likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.

- Check your water mter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, your probably have a leak.

- One way to find out if you have a tolet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.

Faucets & Showerheads:

- A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Thats the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!

- Leaky faucets can be fixed by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necerrary. 

- A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.

- Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.


- If your toliet is leaking, the cause is often an old or faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It's usually best to replace the whole rubber flap - a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time. 


- An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.

- An irrigation system that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.