Leak? This is the Week to Plug It

A too-full under-faucet kitchen cabinetDon't fill your under-sink cabinets with too much stuff — you could jostle pipes, causing a loose connection and a leak. Image: Liz Foreman

It’s Fix a Leak Week, which means it’s time to stop being a drip and start saving water.

Dripping faucets and running toilets don’t just keep you up at night. In a year, those leaks could fill up a backyard pool. Then there’s the money you’re sending down the drain after all that wasted water. In honor of WaterSense’s Fix a Leak Week, we’ve got six tips to help you find (some leaks are sneaky!) and plug your leaks.

1. Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window where no water is being used in your home. If the meter doesn’t read the same, you have a leak.

2. Don’t cram your vanities and sink cabinets with stuff. You could jostle water supply pipes and drains, which could cause loose connections and plumbing leaks.

3. Keeping your water pressure too high stresses pipes, increasing the likelihood of a leak. A pressure reducer installed by a plumber (around $400) will take the pressure off.

4. If your toilet is leaking, the likely culprit is a faulty flapper. Replacing it is a cheap and easy DIY job.

5. If your gas bill goes up unexpectedly and you don’t smell a gas leak, check your water heater — there may be a leak in the hot water line from the heater.

6. Before turning on your sprinkler system in the spring, make sure it hasn’t been damaged by freezing temperatures over the winter.

Once you plug up, you can realize even more changes in your water consumption if you switch to low-flow faucets, shower heads, and toilets.

WaterSense’s online tool can help you estimate your water, energy, and money savings if you switch to WaterSense-labeled fixtures. The label means the product has met water-saving criteria set by the EPA.

How much money would you save with a few water-saving improvements?