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Dirty waterDid you know that an American home can waste, on average, 11,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks?

Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year.

That’s why WaterSense is promoting Fix a Leak Week from March 16 to 20, 2009, to remind Americans to check their plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.
Common types of leaks found in the home are leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.
These types of leaks are easily correctable, in most cases requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings.
Telltale Signs of Water Leaks

To check for leaks in your home and rental property, first, determine whether you’re wasting water, and then identify the source of the leak:

Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.

Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.

Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl before you flush, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)

Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.

For free advice on how to fix common household leaks, check out Fix It Tips.
Don’t Forget to Look Outside
If you have an in-ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged by frost or freezing, or hire a WaterSense irrigation partner to inspect it for you.
These professionals have passed a certification program focused on water efficiency. They will not only help you detect and correct leaks in the system, but also maximize its efficiency.
Finally, check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. Here’s an example Exit Disclaimer on how to make additional repairs.
For more information and tips, see Fix a Leak Week.

Check out our Green Pages for information on money saving tips that help the environment. Once there, click on the Green Forum.

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